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9 February 2010 in The Manila Bulletin

UK investors keen on new power projects

The Philippine energy sector is evidently one area that has been igniting a lot of interest for foreign direct investments (FDIs), and British firms are among those keenly eyeing investment opportunities in the power sector and financing prospects for projects aligned with clean development mechanism (CDM) initiatives.

Visiting United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) chief executive Sir Andrew Cahn indicated that British companies have been keeping an eye on developments relative to prospects in renewable energy (RE) and other prospects viable for capital outlays.

“There are some sectors where there are pretty good opportunities –and I highlight power, and also environmental technologies like green technologies. There are a lot of opportunities for trade in that area,” he stressed.

Apart from RE and deployment of other green energy technologies, UK firms have also been scouring investment prospects in the privatization of the government power assets, energy efficiency and carbon financing ventures.

Several British firms have already established their niche in the Philippines, as they also continuously search for CDM – aligned projects and carbon financing prospects. These include Eco Securities, Trading Emissions Plc; Carbon Capital, brokerage firm TFS Green and Global Green Power Plc, among others.

Certainly from herein, Mr. Cahn noted that the Philippines will be in a tight race with Asean neighbors in cornering fresh round of foreign capitals – be it in energy or other sectors like tourism, health care and infrastructure projects.

“The Philippines is in a competitive race with other Asean countries for FDI… what will the Philippines get out of that? My answer is: the Philippines will get a share in what it can manage to attract,” he averred.

The UKTI chief executive then cautioned that given the “huge competition for direct investments,” the ability of the country to attract capitals on these investment spheres will depend on how well it can establish the confidence of investors, primarily in the area of policy predictability, stability of regulatory environment and transparency in governance.