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Japan backs Clark Green City dev’t

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 15, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Japanese government will aid the Philippines in developing the 9,450-hectare Clark project envisioned as the first disaster-resilient and green city in the country.

In a statement, state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said it has signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Japan through the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to develop Clark Green City as a major economic center in the Southeast Asia region.

BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said the involvement of the Japanese government corporation in Clark Green City would lead to multiple joint venture partnerships that would serve as vehicles for the formation of Japanese consortium and investments in the field of power, transportation, tollways, industrial zones and economic centers.

“By investing in Clark Green City, the government of Japan will help transform it into a major economic center of the Asean economic bloc,” Casanova said.

Under the memorandum of cooperation entered by the BCDA and JOIN, Casanova said both parties would craft a project implementation framework which would ensure the economic, financial and commercial viability of building and operating Clark Green City.

Casanova said the involvement of JOIN right at the very start of the planning stage of the project implementation framework would allow BCDA to identify and attract Japanese private investors make the project more viable both financially and commercially.

“The goal is to create a viable project implementation framework through exchanging information, research, discussions with private companies and both the governments of the Philippines and Japan, and through conducting market and feasibility studies, among others,” Casanova said.

Casanova, however, pointed out BCDA and JOIN may make decisions separately for investment on each of the individual components that make up the Clark Green City project.

“In the case of JOIN, it may make a decision in accordance with the investment decision made by private companies in Japan in partnership with Filipino companies. This will also benefit Filipino companies through transfer of technology,” Casanova said.

Initially, Casanova said the BCDA and JOIN are eyeing to set up a joint venture company to conduct feasibility studies as well as grant concession rights for the various individual projects that make up the Clark Green City project.

JOIN is a Japanese government corporation that invests and participates in transport or urban development projects involving Japanese companies such as bullet trains, airports and green cities.

BCDA said JOIN has a target investment of ¥30 trillion worldwide until 2020.

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