Seeks to help develop zone as an Asean economic center
The government of Japan through the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) on Thursday reached a cooperation agreement with the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to help the government develop and build Clark Green City (CGC) as a major economic center in the Asean bloc.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Government of Japan Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Akihiro Ohta witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the BCDA and JOIN, a Japanese government corporation created by the Japanese Parliament, that will lead the formation of joint venture partnerships to ensure the development of CGC.
During the signing ceremony held at the Manila Diamond Hotel, President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Paciano D. Casanova signed on behalf of the BCDA while JOIN was represented by its President and CEO Takuma Hatano.
According to Casanova upon signing the cooperation agreement, both parties will start to work on the details of the joint venture companies, including the scope of work; function and authority; funding sources; responsibilities and procedures; and protocols for discussions with private sector companies in both the Philippines and Japan with regards to their interest in Clark Green City.
Casanova said that as an initial step both the BCDA and JOIN will study the establishment of a joint venture company to conduct the feasibility study, and a joint venture company for granting of concession rights for the various individual projects that make up the CGC project.
He said the involvement of the JOIN would lead to multiple joint venture partnerships to serve as vehicles for the formation of Japanese consortiums and investments in the fields of power, transportation, tollways, industrial zones, and economic centers.
“By investing in Clark Green City, the Government of Japan will help transform it into a major economic center of the Asean economic bloc,” Casanova said.
The Memorandum of Cooperation involves the collaboration of both the BCDA and JOIN to craft a Project Implementation Framework to ensure the economic, financial and commercial viability of building and operating the government project.
Casanova noted that, “Involvement of JOIN right at the very start of the planning stage of the Project Implementation Framework will allow us to identify and attract the right Japanese private investors for Clark Green City to make it more viable both financially and commercially.”
He added that the Project Implementation Framework would also identify the necessary supports needed from both the Philippine and Japanese governments.
“The goal is to create a viable Project Implementation Framework through exchanging information, research, discussions with private companies and both the governments of the Philippines and Japan, and through conducting market and feasibility studies, among others,” Casanova said.
He added that BCDA and JOIN may separately make decisions for investment on each of the individual components that make up the Clark Green City project.
“In the case of JOIN, it may make a decision in accordance with the investment decision made by private companies in Japan in partnership with Filipino companies. This will also benefit Filipino companies through transfer of technology,” Casanova said.
JOIN is a Japanese government corporation that aims to invest and participate in or urban development projects involving Japanese companies, such as bullet trains, airports, and green cities. Its target investment worldwide is 30 trillion yen by 2020.
The Clark Green City Project will cover 9,450 hectares and is envisioned to be the first smart, disaster-resilient and green city in the Philippines. Located in the heart of Central Luzon, Clark Green City is positioned strategically between highly urbanized cities of San Fernando, Angeles and Olongapo in Central Luzon as well as the cities of San Carlos, Dagupan and Urdaneta in Northern Luzon. It is also near the Clark International Airport and the Subic Seaport.