UK firms eyeing Philippine infra projectsBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Companies based in the United Kingdom are keen on taking part in the Philippines’ public-private partnership projects on infrastructure, London’s top official said Tuesday.
David Wootton, the Lord Mayor of London, said in a briefing that he himself was upbeat about the prospects of the Philippine economy, especially after he met Malacañang officials on Monday and sat down with British businessmen who have interests here on Tuesday.
According to Wootton, who also serves as ambassador for UK’s financial services industry, the Philippines is headed in the right direction, considering that economic indicators are all up.
“There are an increasing number of opportunities for UK businesses in the Philippines, particularly on investing in infrastructure,” as well as the provision of services and expertise, such as design and engineering for such projects, the UK official explained.
Wootton said he had meetings with officials of the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Finance, and Transportation and Communications. He also met with officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Insurance Commission.
“All those meetings gave me the confidence about the management of the economy and the stability of the financial regulatory regime,” he said. “The Philippines is keyed on UK companies doing projects here.”
Asked what particular projects the British companies were looking at, Wootton mentioned railways, including the light rail systems in Metro Manila, as well as seaports, airports and roads.
“The focus is on transportation at the moment,” he said. “But they are also interested in water management (or flood control) and energy projects like power plants, and renewable energy resources like wind, solar and biofuels.”
Manila was the London official’s first stop in his three-country Southeast Asian tour.
He left for Thailand on Tuesday, and would soon be on his way to Singapore.
Already, the UK government has beefed up its embassy staff in Manila, in line with its policy to strengthen trade activities in Asia.
According to the embassy, the Lord Mayor’s mission comes at a special time for the UK as London will host the 2012 Olympics while the country celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
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