Bank of China eyes $50B funding for Duterte infrastructure push

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2017 03:11 PM

MANILA - The Bank of China said Thursday it was evaluating 19 infrastructure projects worth $50 billion for possible financing.

These include rails, roads, power plants, and bridges, Bank of China managing director of Philippine operations Michael dela Cruz told ABS-CBN News.

“President Rodrigo Dutere said he’s looking to invest about P8.6 trillion in infrastructure in the next five years. This value -- the Chinese construction companies, equipment manufacturers, suppliers of building materials are excited to participate in," he said.

The bank is planning to double its workforce, currently below 100, over the next two to three years to help evaluate the many projects in the pipeline, he added.

The Bank of China signed a memorandum of understanding with several conglomerates during Duterte’s visit to China last year, with a pledge of about $3 billion worth of financing for various projects in the Philippines.
 
The lender is also keen on helping grow local small and medium enterprises into global players.

“The Philippines has so much room to grow as far as Chinese investments are concerned. Philippine investments in China are bigger than Chinese investments here. Look at ASEAN neighbors Vietnam, Malaysia--there’s huge presence of Chinese investors there," said dela Cruz.