China hopes PH LGUs will create ‘favorable business environment’ for foreign investors

Published February 4, 2021, 6:34 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Thursday said it is hopeful that local governments in the Philippines would help create a “favorable business environment” to increase its attractiveness to foreign investors and strengthen the confidence of Chinese companies who are investing in the country.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian made this statement in the wake of reports that the Cavite provincial government has canceled the award of a $10 billion airport deal, supposedly a consortium between Philippine-based MacroAsia Corp and China Communications Construction Co (CCCC).

Huang clarified that what the Cavite government canceled was the feasibility study project of the Sangley Point Airport and not the so-called US$10 billion project.

Based on the agreement between the parties, Huang pointed out that the winning bidder would invest US$20 million on their own within a certain period of time and they would conduct the feasibility study of the construction of Sangley Point Airport for the Cavite Provincial government.

“Due to the impact of the COVID-19, the feasibility study has not been launched yet and is canceled at this stage. Obviously, some reports were not accurate,” the Chinese envoy said.

While China understands the desire of the Philippine local government to promote large-scale infrastructure projects, Huang, however, said this kind of project “require big investments and long periods.”

For a project that is proven commercially feasible, he said all related stakeholders need to make long-term and unremitting efforts to ensure its progress and success.

“The Chinese government encourages Chinese companies to take part in the commercially feasible projects in the Philippines, and at the same time, we hope(s) that related Philippine local governments will create a favorable business environment for them as well, so as to continue increasing its attractiveness to foreign capital, and strengthen the confidence of Chinese companies who invest in the Philippines,” the top Chinese diplomat.

On Jan. 27, MacroAsia disclosed that the notice of selection and award for the Sangley Point International Airport Project issued on 12 February 2020 was “canceled.”

The CCCC-MacroAsia of the Lucio Tan Group were the sole bidders for the multi-billion airport project in Cavite. 

CCCC, a Chinese government-backed company, was among the Chinese firms blacklisted by the United States in August for their roles in the construction of artificial islands and the militarization of the South China Sea.