3 big Thai companies offer to invest in PH
BANGKOK—President Benigno Aquino III’s plan to promote his administration’s Public-Private Partnership Program (PPP) on Thursday took off with a good start here after three big Thai companies expressed their intention to bring in fresh capital to the country.
Minutes after landing at Suvarabhumi International Airport at past noon, Mr. Aquino buckled down to work and met with executives of the Thai manufacturing food giant Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group.
In a closed-door meeting at Shangri-La Hotel, CP Group executives told the President that they planned to expand their agricultural business, especially hog-raising, in the Philippines, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang told reporters.
“They said they want to venture into hog-raising because there is no foot-and-mouth disease in our country,” Carandang said.
Aside from agribusiness, the CP Group has investments in retail and telecommunications in Thailand.
According to Carandang, top officials of Siam Cement Group, one of the largest manufacturers of cement and other building materials in Thailand, told Mr. Aquino that they wanted to invest in power generation.
State-owned PTT Public Co. Ltd. expressed interest in putting up CNG (compressed natural gas) filling stations.
If it materializes, PTT’s plan would boost the Aquino administration’s program to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, Carandang said.
After the meeting, Mr. Aquino and his economic team led by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima held bilateral talks with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his advisers at the Government House.
They were expected to talk about close cooperation in combating drug trafficking, agricultural development and trade issues.
A state dinner in honor of Mr. Aquino followed at the Government House.
Since 1949, the Philippines has entered into 26 bilateral agreements with Thailand, the latest of which was a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas production signed on Oct. 19, 2003.
Aside from being one of the country’s closest allies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Thailand is a major trading partner.
Last year, Thailand was the Philippines’ ninth largest trading partner, with total trade between them amounting to $5.6 billion last year.
Electronic circuitry products are Thailand’s main imports from the Philippines.
In 2010, Thai companies bought a total of $412.3 million worth of electronic circuits from the Philippines, an increase of almost 27 percent from the previous year.
The PPP has been described by Philippine officials as the cornerstone of the Aquino administration’s economic program.
A private think tank, Forensic Solutions, said in a recent paper that efficient execution of the PPP would help boost the country’s economic growth while bringing social benefits to Filipinos.
The benefits would include accelerated investments in public infrastructure, greater investment participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), balanced regional development, environmental protection and greater access to quality public services. With a report from Inquirer Research
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