Philippines summons European investors to PPPs

Philippines’ President Aquino is beckoning European infrastructure investors as the government pushes key reforms in Parliament.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino and PPP Center chief executive officer Cosette Canilao are promoting five of the country's latest infrastructure public-private partnership (PPP) projects to European investors.

They are also drawing attention to a pipeline of over 50 projects worth P900 billion (€14 billion; $20 billion) while on a visit to Spain, Belgium, France and Germany, and are referring to Parliamentary progress with respect to the Administration's proposed amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer law, the pillar of the country's PPP framework.

The eight-day European tour exploits the momentum brought about by positive remarks from credit ratings agency Moody’s on the speed of pipeline growth and a spectacular seven-point leap up the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness ranking, which was issued earlier this month.

Sentiment in host countries appears positive with announcements from French officials that Aquino will oversee the signing of several agreements together with President Francois Hollande in the transportation and education sectors, among others. Aquino is meeting with Airbus and Schneider Electric during his two-day visit in Paris, which started yesterday.

Aquino reassured investors on the efficiency and accessibility of the country's flagship PPP programme on Tuesday at an investor conference in Brussels.

“Under our administration, we get the infrastructure we need quicker than if we remained reliant on our budget process. On top of that, investors can see clear potential for profitability, so much so that they provide incentives for the government in the form of premiums. The state is thus afforded the best possible bid because of a level playing field, which engenders fair competition amongst interested parties,” Aquino said.

The five projects which are being presented to Spanish, Belgian, French and German infrastructure investors are: the P2.5 billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project-Southwest Terminal; the P4 billion ITS Project-South Terminal; the P24.4 billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project; the P35.42 billion Cavite- Laguna Expressway, and the P64.9 billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Operation & Maintenance Project.

The government is upping the pace in its battle to see more investor-friendly legislation passed by end of the first half of 2015.