Officials from the Philippines have visited China to drum up investment and support for new infrastructure projects, which the new Aquino administration hopes will spur growth and enable the country to get back some of its mojo for economic development. Chinese state-owned enterprises and private firms have expressed interest in playing a part, with Philippines Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima reporting the Chinese consider his country ‘an important neighbor’. They also appeared willing to fund grants and interest-free loans in order to fund feasibility studies into priority projects.

Although the visit was a general mission to gauge interest in closer economic ties, officials will now return to China with a specific list of projects and priorities. Public-private partnerships are the main attractions the government has planned for companies investing in the Philippines, with a focus on infrastructure development.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, potential partnerships include: the MRT/LRT expansion project, MRT Line 2 East extension, Panglao Airport, Laguindingan Airport operation and maintenance, Puerto Princesa Airport, Daraga International Airport, Kalibo Airport, Naia Terminal 3 upgrade and full operationalization, CALA Expressway (Manila side), Naia Expressway Phase II, Central Luzon Expressway Phase I, and supply of treated bulk water for Metro Manila.