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President Arroyo confirmed yesterday that the Shimao Group of China will push through with its $2 billion to $4 billion investment in the country. 

Contrary to reports that the real estate giant is shifting its interest to Malaysia, the President said that the firm has reiterated its commitment to develop a big commercial and hotel property on a land owned by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

The President met with Shimao Group chairman Xu Rongmao in Hong Kong during a private dinner hosted by the tycoon.

Interviewed by the Philippine media at her suite in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong yesterday, the President said that the Shimao Group would be developing two towers for its five-star hotels.

It would also construct a commercial establishment, which the President said would be like the malls in Hong Kong.

“That will be at least a $2 billion investment and they have submitted their formal proposal to the BCDA board,” the President said.Malacañang initially reported the interest of the Shimao Group in the Philippines in March last year.

The President was able to meet with Mr. Xu in Shanghai, China in October last year during which he reiterated his commitment to invest in the Philippines.According to the President, the Shimao Group would also be developing a resort hotel in the surfing capital of Calicoan Island in Guiwan, Easter Samar.

“We believe the Philippine economy is going up and we trust President Arroyo to heavens,” said William Lee, head of Shimao Group’s investment department and son-in-law of Mr. Xu.Xu is officially China’s second richest man with his company having exposure in Australia, Russia and Southeast Asian countries.

The firm is involved in the development of high-end residential and commercial properties and five-star hotels.Even Hong Kong-based tycoon Gordon Wu of Hopewell Holdings has renewed his interest in developing Sangley Point in Cavite.

President Arroyo said Wu knows Sangley Point very well and that the government is very eager to get his company to invest in the former United States naval base.

Wu is no stranger to the Philippines as Hopewell was very active in the development of power plants during the power-starved period in the early 1990s.Hopewell was behind the development of the power plant in Malabon as well as the coal-fired power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon.But Mr. Wu informed the President that the government should first address the relocation of the informal settlers in Sangley Point before he decides to take up that investment.The President then replied that relocation is underway.

Mr. Wu also emphasized that the rules on bidding should be very clear and transparent.The President said that Mr. Wu was not concerned about incurring losses in the country.

“He wins some, he loses some, he doesn’t mind. But he is willing to help in any way he can,” the President said.While in Hong Kong, the President also had high tea with various fund managers who attended the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference where she delivered the keynote address.Mrs. Arroyo noted that the fund managers she met represented around $3 trillion in investable funds.

“So if we can get just a fraction of that, it’s going to be a very welcome infusion into the Philippines,” the President said.Mrs. Arroyo was scheduled to return to the Philippines last night after a two-day official visit to the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.  

Source:  PhilStar.com

Posted By: PhilCTTIS Data Center 
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