UK firms keen on PHL infra projects

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Oct. 5 (PNA) — More British firms are keen to invest in the Philippine airports and aerospace infrastructure projects, especially as the country prepares to become more competitive amid the ASEAN integration.

“With the pipeline of other airport projects such as regional airports and NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) development projects, we look forward to more collaborative and a wider British imprint in Philippine airports,” said United Kingdom Trade and Investment Manila Director Iain Mansfield in a press briefing.

Mansfield cited a number of British firms which have been tapped by Mactan Cebu International Airport authorities to beef up its facilities and provide more efficient services for passengers. These are Arup, Smiths Detection, Zoeftig and G4S.

At the NAIA, he said British air traffic management expert NATS has been tasked to increase hourly air traffic movements through a roadmap for the optimization of the capacity of the airport’s runways.

Mansfield stressed that the constitutional restrictions and the 40-percent foreign ownership and 60-percent local ownership rule do not prevent these companies from pursuing public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

“That’s why we have lots of success on PPP. We are winning contracts providing consultancy services, we are working in partnerships… We are keen to partner as much as the law allows us to,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Philippines will kick off an infrastructure and PPP roadshow in Hong Kong on Oct. 6 to 7.

The roadshow aims to showcase UK expertise in infrastructure and PPP in the region to both Philippine public and private sector stakeholders, which can be brought into the pipeline of Philippine projects.

Hong Kong has been chosen as regional headquarters site of many UK firms in Asia-Pacific.

The two-day event is organized in partnership with the Philippine-British Business Council which will include activities such as business seminar and one-to-one-meetings, networking receptions, site visits/tour to Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong International Airport. (PNA)