By Madelaine B. Miraflor
GMR Group, one of the largest infrastructure companies in India, has expressed interest to participate in the development of New Clark City, a 9,450-hectare community project eyed to become the country’s first-ever smart and green city.
GMR Construction Chief Executive Officer Vivek Singhal said his company was looking for a potential partner in its bid to participate in the second phase of New Clark City project.
“We are looking for some business [opportunities] in the smart cities. We are now looking for local technology partners for that. I know there are some opportunities in Clark,” Singhal said on the sidelines of recently held Philippines-India Trade Consultation.
The trade consultation between India and the Philippines was held as part of the state visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind here in the country.
New Clark City, previously known as Clark Green City, was first presented by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) under its former president Arnel Casonova and is now one of the Duterte Administration’s flagship projects.
The city’s development is part of the government’s bid to decongest the capital, Manila.
To develop the first phase of the project, the BCDA has forged a 50-year contract with Filinvest to develop 288 hectares of the complex and turn it into a mixed-use township.
The Phase 1A of the development includes the New Clark City Sports Complex, which will host the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games); a 64-hectare Innovation and Logistic Park to serve as the economic base of the city with target completion in first quarter of 2020; and the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC), which will house satellite and business continuity offices of some government agencies.
Singhal said GMR is now waiting for the Philippine government’s signal regarding the start of New Clark City’s second phase.
“The plan is still in very, very preliminary stage,” Singhal said. “We’re also looking for other opportunities for smart cities in other areas in the Philippines.”