Clark is a new and bustling metropolis, and is the fastest growing investment destination in the Philippines today. it is strategically located from key trading points and financial centres, a vital factor that can ensure prompt delivery of services and goods to major destinations in Asia and the world over.
It has a total land area of 31,400 hectares and is located in a region with one of the highest population and best literacy rates.
Clark has its own international airport and is master-planned to suit a work-live-play environment in one contained community.
It is considered as a major gateway to the Philippines with about 4 hours travel time to key cities in Asia and with regional flights that have onward connections to the world.
Clark has its own Freeport and nearby Special Economic Zone where there are enormous business opportunities in manufacturing, electronics, information technology, business process outsourcing, among the many profitable industries.
A country of notorious traffic jams may soon start to unclog.
So says The Economist in January 2020.
Should you get up at 4am to get to work on
time, or risk
waiting until five?
That is the .question confronting many commuters in Manila, the capital
of the Philippines, which has some of the world’s worst traffic jams. Geography
is one reason. The 2m people trying to get in and out of the metropolis each
day must squeeze into a narrow strip between the sea on one side and a lake and
hills on the other; But poor urban planning and a dearth of infrastructure
investment in recent decades have compounded the problem. Filipinos spend 16
days a year stuck in jams, according to the Boston consulting Group. The World
Economic Forum ranks the Philippines 96th of141 countries tor the quality of
its infrastructure. Nearby Indonesia, another nation of thousands of islands,
On January 17th the public-works minister announced that by
the time President Rodrigo Duterte leaves office in 2022, he wants to have cut
the number of cars that pass along the city’s main artery each day bv a third.
Such bold declarations have been characteristic of Mr Duterte’s approach to
infrastructure. When he became president in 2.016 he considered demanding
emergency powers from Congress to help him deal with the traffic. In the end,
he settled instead on a long-term scheme to spend 9trn pesos ($177bill) on new-
infrastructure called ”Build, Build, Build”. The focus on construction
represents a “very bold shift in government priority”, believes Vince
Dizon, a presidential adviser.
As the jams in Manila suggest, not much has shifted yet. Such
change is corning, “Build, Build, Build” involves 100 big projects.
Construction is under. way on almost half of them. In 2018 the government
introduced a law to cut red tape in permitting, partly to
speed up infrastructure investments. Some planning committees are meeting three
times as often as they used to. Twenty projects were approved in the final
three months of last year, says Mr Dizon. Impractical schemes promoted by the
president, such as a plan to link all the main islands of the Philippines by
bridge, have been quietiy set aside.
One of the biggest projects still in the works is New Clark
City, which is eventually supposed to house um people and lots of government
offices, in an effort to ease traffic in nearby Manila. The city was planned
under Mr Duterte’s predecessor, but embraced by him in an unusual display of
political continuity. The first phase was completed in November. Mr Duterte has
also presided over the opening of a new airport in the province of Bohol, and
of the Philippines’ largest passenger-ferry terminal on his home island of
Spending on infrastructure has roughly doubled since the
president took office.
The plan is for it to reach 7% of GDP up from 2.6% in 2015
(see chart on next page). The austere policies of past presidents have left Mr
Duterte scope to borrow. Public debt is around 41% of GDP. He has introduced a
series of sensible tax reforms, which are expected to help boost government
revenue, and diversified the Philippines’ sources of funding. Japan has
provided some $12bn in recent years. The Asian Development Bank(ADB) is so enthusiastic
about Mr Duterte’s infrastructure plans that last year it lent the Philippines
more than any other country bar India. China has also promised $9bn for
infra” structure, although it has signed formal agreements to provide only
Public-private partnerships are also being used. More than a
quarter of big projects under “Build, Build, Build” will involve
private investors. Ensuring that the terms of concessionary agreements are fair, however, has been an
obsession of Mr Duterte’s administration. The president’s ongoing spat with two
water companies in Manila over their contractual rights is a case in point.
Shares in one of the firms, Manila Water, dropped to a 14-year low at the height
of the furore last month. That may worry companies that are thinking about
joining the infrastructure push.
The government says that by the middle of 2022 roughly half
of the 100 “Build, Build, Build” projects should have been completed.
Kelly Bird of the ADB says even finishing 30 would make the programme
“hugely successful”; Filipinos are well aware. of Mr Duterte’s
efforts. A survey by Pulse Asia, a pollster, for December found that 69% of
respondents thought his government was doing a “better” job of developing
infrastructure than its predecessor.
Obstacles will mount as Mr Duterte nears the end of his time
in office, however, and his political power begins to ebb. And once he steps
down there is no certainty that his successor will complete his plans. New
presidents in the Philippines often kill projects initiated by their predecessors.
In 2011 Benigno Aquino, the president of the day, cancelled 66 of.72 car-ferry
ports planned by the previous president, Gloria Arroyo, alleging corruption.
With luck, though, Mr Duterte’s successor will see the benefit in inheriting
dozens. of partially constructed projects and a host of shovel-ready ones. A
bulging pipeline of sensible projects could
Philippines’ GDP posted a year-on-year growth of 6.4 per cent in the fourth
quarter of last year, resulting in 5.9 per cent full-year growth for 2019. The
main drivers for growth in the fourth quarter were the trade and repair of
motor vehicles, motorcycles, and personal and household goods as well as
manufacturing and construction. Among the major economic sectors, services
posted the fastest growth at 7.9 per cent.
the country’s projected population reaching 108.7 million in the fourth quarter
of 2019, per capita GDP grew by 4.8 per cent.
The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of the
PH merchandise for the total trade to the UK from 2017 to 2019 is at 4.8 per
cent. PH exports to the UK increased by 2.43 per cent from 2017 to 2018, due to
the increase in the shipment of (1) tunas, skipjack and bonito, (2) other pulps
of fibres, and (3) other electrical apparatus. Similarly, PH imports from the
UK rose by 31.35 per cent due mainly to the increase in the importation of (1) parts
of aeroplanes or helicopters, (2) transistors, and (3) spark-ignition
reciprocating or rotary internal combustion piston engines for aircraft.
In 2018, the UK was the Philippines’ 22nd trading
partner (out of 222), 18th export market (out of 213) and 22nd import source
(out of 198).
arrivals from January to November 2019 totalled 7.48 million with a growth rate
of 15.58 per cent. The UK remains the largest source of tourists from Europe and
the 8th largest market globally with 187,164 visitors arriving from
Britain last year.
The World Bank released its “Doing Business 2020” report, wherein the Philippines made a significant improvement from rank 124 out of 190 economies, to rank 95 with a score of 62.8 in this year’s report. This was the most significant improvement among ASEAN countries.
The report highlights the following reforms undertaken by the Philippines that has made it easier to do business in the country, including:
The Philippines made starting a business easier by abolishing the minimum capital requirement for domestic companies;
The Philippines made dealing with construction permits easier by improving coordination and streamlining the process for obtaining an occupancy certificate; and
Philippines strengthened minority investor protections by requiring greater
disclosure of transactions with interested parties and enhancing director
liability for transactions with interested parties.
The Philippines Inflation Rates
Opportunities in The Philippines for UK Companies
Economic information Courtesy of the Philippines Embassy, London
Graphic Courtesy of the British Chamber of Commerce, Manila
“Build, Build, Build” is becoming “Use, Use, Use” and putting Philippines on the global economic map. International organizations that previously had bad attitudes about the Philippines (and Duterte) are now gushing with praise. “The Economist” reports glowingly on the gargantuan infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) lent the Philippines more than 67 countries last year (only India, with 10X the population, got more). The government estimates that about 50 of the 100 “Build, Build, Build” projects will be completed by 2022. ADB says ecstatically if only 30 finish, it would be “hugely successful.”
+ Will Secretary Tugate finish in time for the next election? + Can the Philippines really enter the big-leagues of global economies? + Will Duterte’s sky-high approval ratings go even higher? + Can we prevent the next government from killing everything after the election?
Get the full story from the remarkable Arthur Tugade, Secretary of Transportation, at Asia CEO Forum on February 26 (8am to 10:00am) at the Manila Marriott. The price of admission is just Php1,500 and includes 5-star breakfast (Php2,000 if paid at the event). REGISTER HERE.
Asia CEO Events is the largest and only national business event series in the Philippines. Senior business leaders come from across Asia for events in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark and other locations. See future events at www.asia-ceo.org .
DATE AND TIME February 26th, 2020 7:45 am – 10:30 am
Shame on them! Shame on anyone who says this government’s infrastructure program is not making massive progress. All knowledgeable observers say the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” agenda to spend 9 Trillion pesos (US$177 Billion) constructing new infrastructure will have a profound impact on the nation that will extend for generations to come.
Hear Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade tell it himself at the next Asia CEO Forum on February 26 (8am to 10:00am) at the Manila Marriott. Expect a complete update on the remarkable progress.
The work being done is being enthusiastically noticed around the world. The influential global financial magazine “The Economist” recently reported in rare glowing terms about Duterte’s infrastructure program, “The Philippines… to Unclog.”
Asian Development Bank (ADB), previously known to be pessimistic about the country’s progress, has become one of its biggest boosters. It lent the Philippines more than any other country last year — with the exception of India, a country with 10 times the population.
The government estimates that about 50 of the 100 “Build, Build, Build” projects should be completed by 2022. The ADB says if just 30 are completed it would be “hugely successful.”
Can Secretary Tugate finish everything in time for the next election? Will this mark the Philippines’ entry to the global economic big-leagues? What will be the impact of approval ratings on Duterte, already one of the world’s most popular politicians? Will the next government kill everything a week after the election?
Stars past and present from TV’s hospital soap Holby City converged on the Philippine Embassy in London’s West End this week for the opening of a unique art exhibition by one of their own.
Since leaving Holby 18 months ago Rebecca Grant (aka Sister Daisha Anderson) who is distantly related to the Royal Family – her great grandmother was Ernestine Bowes-Lyon – has been busy re-inventing herself as an artist and singer as well as continuing with a busy acting career.
Now she has emerged after long hours in her studio following in the footsteps of her late grandfather who was a highly thought of contemporary artist in France.
However, she has chosen as subject matter for her art work a collection of which has been produced over the past ten years – the environment she knows best – the theatre. Her exhibition is made up of scenes from productions she has appeared in and portraits of fellow thespians who have starred with her. These include work from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Bombay Dreams’ and London’s west end production of ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ starring Christian Slater.
And for Robert Powell, one of the ex-Holby stars attending her opening night of the exhibition, there was a surprise in store.
Highlight of the opening night was his unveiling of a new and previously unseen painting by Rebecca. As he unveiled the latest work to come from the pallet of his former co-star though he realised for the first time that he was the subject.
Powell is the only Holby star Rebecca has so far committed to canvas.
After the unveiling she said : “I worked very closely with Robert when I was in Holby and admired him immensely. It seemed only right that I should paint a portrait of him.”
And Powell commented : “I had no idea just how talented Rebecca was as an artist, as well as an on screen actor. Nobody has ever done a portrait of me before. It’s a great likeness.”
The Makati Business Club has issued a statement on the Philippines’ improved credit outlook and in support of the Aquino administration actions. The statement is:-
MCC Statement on The Philippines improved credit outlook and successful issue of 25 year Global Peso Bonds
The latest revision by Moody’s Investor Service of its credit outlook on Philippine foreign and local currency bonds to positive from stable and the recent successful issuance of 25-year global peso bonds worth an equivalent $1.25 billion are, without doubt, manifestations of the international investment community’s interest and confidence in the country and foreign investors’ sign of faith in the Aquino administration’s economic vision and fiscal program.
The Makati Business Club thus commends the government’s economic managers for these accomplishments, with Moody’s signaling the likelihood of a near-term ratings upgrade and the bond deal continuing the innovative success of last October’s 10-year $1-billion global peso bonds, the first of its kind in Asia.
The credit rater upgraded the country’s credit rating last July to Ba3, “speculative” and “subject to substantial credit risk.”An upgrade would boost the Philippines’ credit score to the Baa level, “subject to moderate credit risk.”
On the other hand, the long-term bonds, which are denominated in pesos but will be paid off in US dollars, are designed, in part, to deal with the issue of hot foreign money flowing into the country and presenting inflationary problems for monetary authorities.
MBC further cites the bond deal’s manifold accomplishments. It took advantage of the favorable market conditions at the start of the year, when rates are relatively lower. MBC further cites the deal’s manifold accomplishments. It took advantage of the favorable market conditions at the start of the year, when rates are relatively lower. the 25 year bond was priced to yield its coupon rate of 6.25 percent , which translates to a 0.23 percent decline from the current domestic 25 year benchmark, even after adjusting for the global bond’s exemption from the local 20 percent withholding tax on interest income.
The global bond issue also helped lengthen the country’s debt maturities, reduce exposure of the domestic economy to foreign exchange fluctuations, and develop the capital market for long-term financing in preparation for the government’s plans to partner with private companies in building 11 priority infrastructure projects that include public roads, ports, and railways.
Moody’s statement, meanwhile, cited the country’s strong external payments position, which had reduced the country’s vulnerability to external shocks, monetary policy successes, and economic policy reforms that were expected to positively affect state finances, investor sentiment, and the economy.
MBC is encouraged by these positive signs that the Aquino administration is on its way towards achieving sustained economic growth, fiscal consolidation, and further development of the domestic capital markets.