Malaysian firms seeking to participate in building program

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Mustapa Mohamed

MALAYSIAN businesses are hoping to play a role in the government’s infrastructure program, the country’s Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said, with some firms already with their foot at the door in the airports segment.

“Some companies are interested… in the development in the new airport in Manila,” Mr. Mustapa, who heads the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, told reporters on the sidelines of the Malaysia Business Forum held Monday in Makati.

He said some Malaysian companies are planning their engagement, which is now “in progress.” He declined to indicate which projects have attracted their interest.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport has attracted to bids for rehabilitation. One is by seven-group consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; Ayala-controlled AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Andrew L. Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc.; Lucio C. Tan’s Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; and Metro Pacific Investments Corp..

The other is the partnership of Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

Mr. Mustapa also would not comment when asked about Malaysian interest in San Miguel Corp.’s P700-billion Bulacan airport project proposal.

He noted that several Malaysian companies remained optimistic about investing in the country “in almost every sector.”

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez noted that the Philippines-Malaysia bilateral trade relationship was worth $5.20 billion in 2017, with two-way trade running in Malaysia’s favor.

Exports to Malaysia rose by 30.63% to $1.58 billion in 2017, while imports increased by 6.82% to $3.62 billion.

Malaysia is the country’s number 10 trading partner. It is the 11th-largest export destination, and the 9th-largest source of imports. — Janina C. Lim