The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last month pitched public–private partnership (PPP) projects to an economic mission from San Diego, California, according to a statement released this week by the agency.
In a presentation at the Board of Investment (BOI) offices in Makati on July 7, DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotions Group (TPIG). Ponciano Manalo Jr. cited infrastructure investments as one of the indicators for sustained economic growth of the Philippines in the future as mentioned by Takehiko Nakao, president of Asian
Development Bank, in an article published in Nikkei Asian Review.
Manalo said that the Philippines has been eying an increase in its infrastructure spending from 2.5 percent to 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product by 2016.
He noted that infrastructure investments under the PPP program do not only include roads and bridges but also schools, hospitals, and prisons.
The mission was composed of 11-member delegation representing various sectors including government, business development advisory and consultancy firms, and private companies.
The head of delegation and Philippine Honorary Consul of San Diego Audie de Castro noted that the city of San Diego is home to almost 200,000 Filipino Americans.
“There a lot of successful Fil-Ams in San Diego. There is high medium income over there for Fil-Ams. They have the means to actually invest in the country and of course, we want to see Filipinos also invest in San Diego for the same reason,” de Castro said.
“As far as I can hear from the delegates and people who are interested, people ask a lot on the real estate here because real estate is a hot market in San Diego County. We have heard a lot about how real estate has really improved in the Philippines. And of course, we have seen Ayala and Megaworld and making their ways to Southern California. So, real estate is one of the easier ways to invest in the country,” de Castro added.
De Castro noted that the delegation included people in the medical field, energy, and electric vehicles.
“I think there is high-level respect for the medical profession here in the Philippines, and San Diego is a haven for medicine. We have a lot of the best medical schools in the country, and have a lot of strong life sciences industry there,” de Castro said.
De Castro also noted that there is a lot of unused capital in San Diego.
“We would like to see a follow through. That is one of the reasons why we brought three government officials. We are talking about returning to the Philippines, and maybe the Philippines will send a delegation to San Diego County,” de Castro said
He added that there is a plan to continue the exchange relationship and organize more missions in the future.