Korean Ambassador to the PH Han Dong-Man, DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba, AKC Secretary General Kim Young-Sun, Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez and Commercial Counsellor Emmanuel Ang, Head of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) at the Opening of the Philippines-Korea Investment Forum on Infrastructure and Energy, 30 January 2018, Sofitel Hotel, Manila.
The visit of the Korean infrastructure investment mission was organized by the ASEAN Korea Center (AKC) in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC), DTI-Board of Investments and the Philippine Embassy in Korea in view of the Korean business community's tremendous interest to invest in the Philippines' thriving economy.
The mission commenced with a visit to the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone on 29 January 2018. In his welcome address, Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez underscored the Philippine government's strong commitment to boost spending on infrastructure projects in the Philippines which is projected to reach 8-9 trillion pesos up to the year 2022 as the Philippines accelerates infrastructure development under the "Build, Build, Build" program of the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte that aims to usher in a Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines.
Ambassador Hernandez also invited the members of the mission to "Join the Philippines in achieving greater growth and prosperity" and expressed optimism that "with Korea's advancements in the infrastructure sector, there would be vast possibilities for partnership and cooperation for continued sustainable development in the Philippines."
The mission culminated in a "Philippines-Korea Investment Forum on Infrastructure and Energy" which was successfully convened on 30 January 2018 at the Sofitel Hotel in Manila. Notable dignitaries present at the Opening Ceremony included DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba, AKC Secretary General Kim Young-Sun, Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dongman, Ambassador Hernandez, and Commercial Counsellor Emmanuel Ang, Head of the PTIC in Seoul.
In his message of support delivered in front of a packed audience of potential Korean investors during the forum, Ambassador Hernandez conveyed that the "timing of the forum was perfect as the Philippines expects wider and deeper business engagement between the Philippines and Korea in view of Korea's New Southern Policy."
Ambassador Hernandez commended the DTI and AKC for the high turnout of attendees at the forum, noting that this signifies the keen interest of the Korean business community in the Philippines's promising investment potential.
Ambassador Hernandez also expressed hope that the mission would contribute to bolstering infrastructure cooperation between the Philippines and Korea and that "new Korean-invested projects would contribute to changing the skyline of Manila and other regions in the Philippines."
During the Forum, Ambassador Hernandez invited the Korean companies to participate in Philippine infrastructure projects, either as EPC contractors or equity investors, underscoring that Philippine infrastructure and construction companies are eager to partner with Korean companies who have expertise in the development of large-scale infrastructure such as airports, roads, bridges, power, water, and related utilities.
Moreover, Ambassador Hernandez pledged the full support of the DTI and Philippine Embassy in Korea in facilitating business matching and the implementation of infrastructure projects between the Philippines and Korea.
The Forum provided an opportunity for the members of the mission to be apprised of investment opportunities in the Philippines' infrastructure sector, to be informed of the Philippine government's policies for potential foreign investors and to network with government officials and business counterparts.
The mission was a resounding success as it yielded promising business prospects for enhanced collaboration and partnership between the Philippines and Korea in accelerating infrastructure development in the Philippines.