PNoy cites 2 joint GPH-China road projects in Mindanao

BEIJING (MindaNews/1 September) – President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has cited two success stories in infrastructure projects in Mindanao which is a result of a strong public-private partnership between Philippines and China.

“Chinese businessmen have partnered with our Public Works and Highways Department. The Hebei Road and Bridge Group Company, Limited, and the China Henan Shuili Yiju company, for example, have partnered with our Public Works and Highways Department in order to upgrade and maintain roads in Mindanao,” Aquino told the delegates of the Philippines-China Economic and Trade Forum.

He said the two projects that are worth $23 million are currently being undertaken. Both are expected to be completed in 2013.

“These projects are only two examples of the enthusiasm that results from partnerships between our countries,” he said.

Aquino started his four-day state-visit in China on Wednesday by enticing Chinese businessmen to invest in the country.

“We want even more of our people to work with you towards partnerships that are mutually beneficial. After all, by 2015, with the formation of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community, the Philippines will be the Northern gateway to the region. The time to open that gateway, together, is now,” he said.

The President attended meetings with Chinese companies who are willing to do a joint venture projects with their counterparts in the Philippines.

State Grid of China Corp. has also announced during the forum that they are infusing fresh capital to the mount to P50 million into the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in the succeeding four years.State Grid of China Corp. has a 40-percent stake at NGCP.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, who held a short meeting with President Aquino, said China is determined to achieve the $60-billion bilateral trade in five years.

He said energy firms in China have also expressed their interest in investing oil and gas explorations.

Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio said they expect $7-billion worth of investment after the state visit. (Darwin Wally T. Wee / MindaNews)