Indian companies plan major plays in Philippines
The Philippines could soon become the next investment hotspot for India Inc with several companies lining up to pump in billions of dollars in the east Asian country's energy and steel sectors.
Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd will bid for an estimated $3.8-billion contract to construct and operate the Philippines' National Transmission Corporation (NTC), its president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in New Delhi on Friday. India's largest power transmission utility Power Grid, which is exploring inorganic growth opportunities, is also learnt to have submitted a bid for NTC.
The Philippines government announced it would invite bids for a 25-year concession contract to construct, finance, operate and maintain the facilities and assets of the state-run NTC. The bidding is likely to be held on December 12.
The move to privatise NTC is part of the Philippines government's efforts to modernise the power sector and pay off an accumulated debt estimated at around $4.6 billion, reports said. Analysts said that state-owned companies ran power transmission in most countries across the globe.
Pramod Mittal promoted Global Steel is also planning to invest $1.6 billion for a 3.2-million-tonne integrated steel plant in the country, where it already has cold-rolled and hot-rolled plants.
Arroyo told Indian industry captains on Friday that both countries have signed 9 agreements to promote trade and economic ties and also reached an understanding with the Indian pharmaceutical industry to set up manufacturing bases in Philippines to help it lower health care costs, while India can use it for promoting third-country pharmaceutical exports. The two countries have agreed to set up a joint-monitoring group to keep a watch on the implementation of the agreements.
India would also extend a $50-million credit line to the Philippines to support trade and industry, particularly in the area of health and medicines, she said.