Philippine infra sector to get China funds
August 22, 2011 at 08:57
This is an article repost.
Government infrastructure projects are seen benefiting from a credit facility offered by the Chinese government through its $1.8-billion official development assistance to the country, with some projects to get grants to finance feasibility studies.
At the Communications and News Exchange Forum on Thursday, Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said that during the recent 27th Philippines-China Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation meeting, China reiterated its support for development projects in the country.
“We’re looking at a credit facility for important infrastructure projects. The government is now completing the list of projects that will be included,” Cristobal said, adding that the list would come from the National Economic and Development Authority.
Asked whether projects to be funded by the credit facility would also include those under the public-private partnership scheme, he said it was for the NEDA to decide, being the agency in charge of distinguishing between what projects would fall under the PPP and which would be eligible for ODA funding.
Apart from the credit facility, Cristobal said China also committed to provide grants for the conduct of feasibility studies on certain projects. The total amount for this specific grant, however, was not specified.
“It’s up to the Philippines to submit a proposal in which projects to include. For these projects, the contractor doesn’t have to be Chinese,” he said.
During the same meeting, Cristobal said both the Philippines and China also agreed to closely cooperate with each other in ensuring that both countries’ standards for industrial goods were compliant with each other’s rules.
The two countries would also coordinate more closely with each other to improve investments, with the Board of Investments committing to set up a Chinese desk and the Chinese government agreeing to provide technical assistance in that area, Cristobal said.
In an earlier interview, he said the Philippines and China were set to sign by month’s end a five-year development program for trade and economic cooperation.
This medium-term plan, Cristobal said, was meant to improve trade between the two countries as well as better facilitate investment inflow.
President Aquino is set to visit China from August 30 to September 4 to discuss, among others, areas of economic cooperation.
By: Abigail L. Ho
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug. 19, 2011
To view the original article, click here.