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Monday, June 24, 2024

US willing to fund study on Luzon growth area

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The United States reiterated its support for the Luzon Economic Corridor (LEC), focusing on infrastructure projects that will attract private sector investment, according to US special presidential coordinator for global infrastructure and energy security Amos Hochstein.

Speaking in a news briefing Tuesday at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) In Taguig City, Hochstein emphasized the importance of a thorough feasibility study commissioned by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

“Once the [Philippine] government starts looking at putting tenders out and companies are coming to invest, we will then as US government through our different agencies provide financing, debt-equity and political risk insurance and other kinds of financial instruments that the US government has for those investments,” he said.

He said the study is crucial in identifying the most viable infrastructure projects within the LEC.

The USTDA’s feasibility study will play a key role in attracting private sector investment by identifying high-impact projects. It will assess various infrastructure projects within the LEC such as the proposed freight rail connecting ports to Clark and Subic Bay, and rail improvements connecting Clark, Manila and Batangas. It will pinpoint projects that offer the highest potential return on investment and economic benefit.

By analyzing costs, timelines and potential challenges, the feasibility study will provide valuable data to mitigate risks for private companies considering investment in the LEC. Hochstein said this would make the corridor more attractive for businesses.

The study’s findings will guide US government agencies in determining the most effective ways to support the LEC’s development. This could include offering financing options like debt, equity and political risk insurance.

Hochstein highlighted the US government’s commitment to supporting infrastructure projects that improve transportation efficiency within the LEC.

“By reducing transportation costs and connecting manufacturing centers with export facilities, we aim to create a more attractive environment for businesses,” he said.

The US and the Philippines have a long-standing relationship, with the US military presence in the Philippines evolving into a stronger economic partnership. The LEC shares the goal of promoting economic growth and regional stability.

The US government’s commitment to the feasibility study and its focus on infrastructure development are positive steps toward realizing the full potential of the Luzon Economic Corridor. As the project progresses, attracting private sector investment will be instrumental to its success.


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