US development finance agency to set up PH office

US development finance agency to set up PH office

US development finance agency to set up PH office

US International DFC deputy CEO Nisha Biswal —photo from X account of Trade and Development Agency director Enoh Ebong

MANILA, Philippines — The United States’ development finance agency plans to set up soon a regional office in the Philippines, a move seen as increasing private investments in the country, especially in priority sectors like infrastructure, critical minerals and renewable energy.

“We are very excited to open an office here in Manila. And in a few months, we are going here. [Our] continuous presence here will allow us to coordinate much [more] purposefully and, with all of you, we will be able to connect with the private sector and be able to increase our pipeline projects in the Philippines,” said Nisha Biswal, deputy chief executive officer of the US International Development Finance Corp. (DFC), during the recent 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila.


READ: US offers to fund major PH energy, infra projects


DFC partners with the private sector on “transformative projects” that create jobs, foster economic growth, improve access to essential services and facilitate trade and regional connectivity.

Its latest initiative in the Philippines is a $20-million loan to property firm Lhoopa Inc. to promote affordable housing across the country. This loan brings DFC’s total commitments in the Philippines to $80 million.

Amos Hochstein, senior presidential adviser for energy and investment, said the establishment of the local DFC office is “clear proof” of the US government’s support for the country’s major projects, such as the Luzon Economic Corridor to be executed with the help of Japan.

“We in the United States side represent the different agencies that will all be a significant piece of making this a reality from our side,” said Hochstein. “We’re trying to bring the whole breadth of the US government to this effort.”

Priority projects

Following the plenary session of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum that tackled how US government tools catalyze investments in partner economies, the business leaders gathered in a closed-door discussion and took the opportunity to convene a tripartite steering committee that will see through the development of the prosperity corridor.

Several projects have been identified by the Philippine government as part of the Luzon Economic Corridor, including the P50-billion Subic-Clark Railway Project, the P12.8-billion Phase 1 and 2 expansion projects of Clark International Airport, and the P8.7-billion Clark National Food Hub.


Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go led the high-level Philippine team that presented a list of 28 priority projects covering critical areas such as infrastructure development, electronics and semiconductors, food production and storage and renewable energy that will be part of the corridor.

The Luzon Economic Corridor aims to connect Luzon’s key economic hubs—Subic Bay, Clark, Manila and Batangas.

Japan’s support

The formation of the steering committee is the result of the Trilateral Leaders’ commitment in April to develop the Luzon Economic Corridor under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Investment Accelerator.

Japan, another key ally of the Philippines, had also expressed its intent to move forward with helping develop the planned corridor.

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“We share the recognition of the importance of the Luzon Economic Corridor region and Japan is supporting connectivity in the region including railways and roads, through the (Japan International Cooperation Agency), for many years,” said Hideo Ishizuki, director general of the International Cooperation Bureau, which is under Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

TAGS: Development Finance Corp, Frederick Go, Luzon Economic Corridor

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