By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez represented the Philippines at the "Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference (GICC)" co-hosted by ROK's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), International Contractors Association of Korea (ICAK), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on 18-20 September 2018 at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul.

PH Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez with Ministers/Heads of Delegations during the Opening Ceremony of the Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference, 18 September 2018, COEX Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul.
The Opening Ceremony of the Ministerial Meeting commenced with remarks by ICAK Chairman Lee Kun-Ki. Chairman Lee underscored that the 4th Industrial Revolution cannot be achieved without proper infrastructure and conveyed ROK's keen interest to expand its presence in overseas construction markets.

MOLIT Vice-Minister Son Byeong Suk, for his part, shared in his statement that the use of advanced ICT in infrastructure development is driving growth in the overseas construction market with construction automation opening a new chapter in the global construction industry.

MOFA Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Kang Jeong-sik, meanwhile, emphasized that construction is becoming vital in inter-Korean policies and in economic cooperation overseas. He underscored that for the global construction industry to remain competitive, it has to address the twin challenges of climate change and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Deputy Minister Kang also expressed hope that the GICC would foster discussions on how to address the financing gap in funding infrastructure development through diversifying financing schemes.

Following the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Scott Hazelton, Managing Director of HIS Markit, and Mr. Alvaro De La Maza Alba, a Spanish partner at Infra PPP World, delivered their presentations.

In his presentation, Mr. Hazelton underscored that construction growth will continue to accelerate in emerging markets with Asia dominating growth opportunities. He also cited the Philippines as one of the fastest growing construction markets. Director Hazelton also stated that non-residential growth would be driven by emerging manufacturing economies. The Philippines was cited as one of the countries with promising non-residential growth.

In Mr. Alba's presentation, the Philippines was also cited as the top Asian country by number of Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Projects for 2014-2017.Mr. Alba further mentioned opportunities for Korean construction players in large scale PPP projects in Asia. For the Philippines, the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) East PPP Project, Light Railway Transit (LTR) System PPP Project in Davao, Central Luzon Link Expressway (CCLEX) Phase III PPP Project, and the Plaridel Bypass Toll Road PPP Project were cited as promising areas for Korean construction players.

Since its inception in 2013, the GICC has provided an invaluable opportunity to learn about the latest technological trends and future prospects in global construction and to explore business opportunities in the booming overseas construction market.
The GICC was attended by transport ministers/vice-ministers, representatives of diplomatic missions, overseas delegations, representatives of member companies of ICAK and officials of multilateral financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).