Business World, 14 September 2012
KOREAN businesses are interested in participating in the governmentâ€™s public-private partnership (PPP) projects, particularly for infrastructure, the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines said in an interview with reporters.
â€śThere is interest by Korean companies in infrastructure like airports and power plants including PPP projects,â€ť said Edward Eun-Gap Chang, president of the Korean Chamber, in an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the Joint Foreign Chambers networking night held late Thursday.
He added that Korean firms are also interested in setting up agricultural projects as well entering the renewable energy sector.
Korean firms were invited to bid for PPP projects by the Transportation department on July 12, particularly for the P557 million Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.
Only one PPP project has been awarded: the P1.956-billion Daang Hari-Southern Luzon Expressway Link Road won by Ayala Corp. on Dec. 15 last year.
Pre-qualification has finished for the P10.04-billion PPP for School Infrastructure Project, while an invitation to pre-qualify and bid for the P60-billion extension and management of Light Rail Transit Line 1 was published on June 4.
Mr. Chang noted that Korean firms like Korea Electric Power Co., Hanjin Philippines, Inc., Samsung Philippines and Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. are interested in possibly expanding their operations in the country.
However, Mr. Chang said some projects â€śneed ownership of land and we are prohibited from doing that.â€ť
The Korean Chamber is also pushing for the establishment of a Korea-Philippines free trade agreement which it feels will facilitate the further growth of trade between the two countries.
â€śThere is no free trade agreement yet between the Philippines and Korea — between Korea and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), yes, but we are willing to help promote bilateral agreements,â€ť said Mr. Chang.
â€śA bilateral agreement between Korea and the Philippines will allow the expansion of trade among certain goods,â€ť he added.
The chamber noted Korea is one of the top five trade partners of the Philippines as well as one of the biggest tourist groups that visit the country. –Â Emilia Narni J. David