The three-day state visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to Malaysia has hastened the finalization of the collaboration agreement between the Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) and Malaysia’s Hartasuma Sdn. Bhd. that could reach up to Php3 billion in rail-oriented projects in the Philippines.
In a media interview, President Marcos said that the contract between Manuel V. Pangilinan’s MPIC and the Hartasuma Sdn. Bhd. is on top of the $285 million earlier committed by Malaysian business leaders.
During the Philippine Business Forum in Kuala Lumpur, President Marcos secured around US$285 million worth of investment pledges from Malaysia’s business sector “particularly in terms of the administration’s food security, in terms of infrastructure development, job generation for our Filipinos.”
President Marcos said the rail project between the Philippines’ MPIC and Malaysia’s Hartasuma Sdn. Bhd. only showed the commitment of the two countries to continue improving physical connectivity such as roads, rails, and other forms of transportation.
“So, this is another part of that effort,” President Marcos said, referring to the common goal of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA.)
For his part, House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez, who was part of the Philippine delegation during the three-day visit to Malaysia, said the contract went smoothly due to the presence of President Marcos.
“Literally, because of the visit, the President’s presence in KL [Kuala Lumpur] hastened the progress of this agreement and.…three billion will be pledged for investments into the Philippines,” Romualdez said.
Under the collaboration agreement, “the Parties have expressed their desire to engage in railway engineering and maintenance, and other rail-oriented projects in the Philippines in line with the government’s aspiration to modernize the Philippines’ railway network.”
The agreement seeks to provide a framework for the cooperation between MPIC and Hartasuma, with both parties working together to identify potential joint development and joint venture collaboration.
MPIC is a publicly-listed investment management holding company with investments in various infrastructure and other projects in the Philippines and South East Asia, including power, toll roads, water, healthcare, agriculture, real estate and rail.
Hartasuma, on the other hand, is a pioneer in the Malaysian rail industry, providing a range of services, including engineering, assembly, refurbishment and rehabilitation of rolling stock and other urban transport solutions, including cable systems. PND