The Philippines welcomed the offer of the Korean Government to finance key infrastructure programs of the country, increasing prospects to implement projects under the Philippine Development Plan 2017–2022.

From May 29 to June 1, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) met with selected agencies of the Philippine government to discuss possible projects that may form part of the KEXIM pipeline in the current medium term (2017-2022), given the Bank’s willingness to allocate for the Philippines USD1 billion in concessional loans over a six-year period.

Among the agencies consulted were the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Irrigation Authority, and the National Electrification Administration.

Transport, ICT, and energy infrastructure were identified as priority areas in the proposed cooperation considering Korea’s comparative advantage in these sectors.

Aside from concessional loans, the KEXIM is also offering its support through its Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) facility, a knowledge-driven economic cooperation program that will enable Korea to share its successes and failures and propose applicable policy recommendations.

KEXIM also expressed willingness to assist in the Philippines’ pre-investment activities, including project preparation, and feasibility studies and plans formulation, through the Bank’s Project Preparation Facility.

NEDA Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan expressed appreciation for Korea’s offer of assistance, noting that this will boost the Philippine government’s efforts to carry out its infrastructure program, which requires roughly PhP8.4-trillion.

“We need to be ambitious, and at the same time we need to scale up our implementation capacity. Financing this six-year infrastructure program will be sourced from domestic resources, Official Development Assistance and Public-Private Partnership programs,” he added.

The Philippines and Korea are set to finalize the framework agreement in August 2017.