The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines – Philippine Overseas Construction Board (CIAP-POCB) converged with the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (CBIP) of the ASEAN National Organizing Council to gather local and foreign construction industry key players at the first ever ASEAN+6 Construction Forum in the Philippines.
Local guests from the public and private sectors; ASEAN Member delegates; Dialogue partners from China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand; and Philippine delegates and VIPs were present to grace the event being at the Solaire Hotel in Parañaque City.
The activity was targeted to increase global participation and harmonious international relations of PH construction industry players with the rest of the world. The forum also serves as a platform to engage participation and solicit the cooperation of the key players in the ASEAN Construction industry to ramp up infrastructure development especially now that the country is at the onset of the “Golden Age of Infrastructure”.
With the POCB initiative, Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo believes that the ASEAN+6 Forum is a fitting development platform as ASEAN becomes a major player in the international community.
The ASEAN+6 Construction Forum convened four panel discussions namely: Blueprint: ASEAN Connectivity, Bolting Together: Strengthening ASEAN Connectivity towards ONE ASEAN, The Mobilizers, and Pioneering Innovation; all of which are poised to proactively engage stakeholders by cultivating relationships and identifying mechanisms to regularly and effectively communicate updates on the progress of the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025; coordinate existing resources with the end in view of delivering support across the full life cycle of infrastructure projects to ensure sustainability; and address the need for infrastructure spending to more than double from levels prior to the 1987 global financial crisis.
Moderated by Engr. Michael Roberto Reyes, POCB Board member, the Blueprint: ASEAN Connectivity session provided a macro-overview of the region-wide construction and infrastructure development programs in Asia, such as the ASEAN Masterplan 2025, One Belt, One Road and other big-ticket development projects funded by financing institutions and how key industry players can take part in accomplishing these projects.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Richard Bolt, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Susumu Ito, Bank of China Country Manager Deng Jun and Provincial Affairs Committee Chairman and China-Jiangsu Association for Friendship and International Exchanges (JAFIE) Executive Vice President Jiang Xiao participated in the discussion.
BOLTING TOGETHER: Strengthening ASEAN Connectivity towards ONE ASEAN
The session, moderated by SP Castro Inc. Chairman and President Engr. Salvador P. Castro, Jr., highlighted government initiated efforts and policies that would facilitate entry and access to construction opportunities within the ASEAN countries.
The panelists were DPWH Undersecretary Dr. Maria Catalina Cabral, Ministry of Construction, Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto, and Business & International Division H.E. Muhammad Rizuan Hamzah.
Joining the panel were Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) President Engr. Dante M. Abando, Overseas Construction Association of Japan, Inc. (OCAJI) COO Yoshihiro Yamaguchi, Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) Council Member Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz, Sta. Clara International Corporation President Mr. Nicandro Linao and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco. The panel was moderated by Ms. Armie Jarin-Bennett, President of CNN Philippines.
The session discussed the role of the private sector and their action plans in maximizing the construction and infrastructure opportunities in the ASEAN and dialogue partner countries through sharing of strategies to overcome industry hurdles and challenges.
The session, joined by BCDA Executive Vice President Aileen R. Zosa, Street Park Productions, Inc. President and Executive Producer John Aguilar, Arup Management Consulting Associate Director Mr. Bruce Chong and Australia Construction Industry Forum Executive Director Mr. James Cameron, presented the latest trends and technology in construction, and how these innovations impact the construction industry in terms of quality, safety, productivity, competitiveness, and environmental sustainability. This discussion was moderated by Atty. Jean De Castro, CEO of ESCA Incorporated.
The activity ended with a synthesis of the keynote speech at the start of the program and the outputs of the Panel Discussions.