Source:  Business Mirror, 28 December 2011

DIPLOMATIC posts continue to engage foreign governments and businesses in promoting public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the Philippines that would facilitate trade and investments, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

Del Rosario said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through foreign-service posts, now coordinate with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in conducting PPP road shows. At least three PPP road shows have been conducted separately in the three rich Chinese business capitals of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen in April, August and September, respectively.

He added that foreign service officers, as frontliners of the Philippine government, also help in promoting tourism plans that seek to hit the two-way, 3-million tourist arrivals between the Philippines and China by 2016.

Del Rosario said key infrastructure projects in the country are critical in promoting trade and investments, and increasing foreign tourist arrivals.

“The DFA made substantial interventions toward the resolution of negotiated contracts,” said del Rosario, citing the success in the negotiations for the resumption of the long-delayed North Rail Project with China as well as the roll on, roll off project with France, the Laguna Lake Rehabilitation project with Belgium.

Del Rosario also welcomed the diplomatic settlement of the country’s lingering problem with Germany on the issue of the Fraport contract for the construction of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

He said that the Philippines is looking forward to the drafting of the terms of reference of the feasibility study on the connectivity of infrastructure system of all the 10-member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

The Philippines is the proponent of the Asean connectivity project that seeks to establish information communications technology (ICT) and infrastructure system of the 10 Asean members.

Asean groups the Philippines, Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

(Estrella Torres)