Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has doubled down on his "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure investment program in hopes of stabilizing growth following the economic turmoil created by the Covid-19 pandemic, Nikkei reports.
As the coronavirus necessitates greater emphasis on cooperation between the U.S. and China, some experts worry that Washington’s decision to postpone the U.S.-ASEAN summit following a period of perceived disengagement risks pushing Southeast Asian countries further toward China and delays discussions on critical topics, including the U.S. rival to the BRI, Nikkei reports.
Given the worsening global economy and recent foreign investment decreases in the Philippines, critics claim President Duterte's efforts to shut down domestic utilities and media companies on charges of corruption are economically unwise, Nikkei reports.
As Chinese investment projects in the Philippines face scrutiny due to their potential security and environmental impacts, President Duterte has warned courts against challenging Chinese-backed projects. Until mid-2019, no Chinese infrastructure projects in the Philippines had started construction, Nikkei reports.
Philippine Navy officials are trying to block Chinese involvement in the construction of a strategically located airport after a consortium led by the state-owned China Communications Construction Company was the sole bidder for the project, Nikkei reports.
China Harbor Engineering, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co. with controversial links to China's island-building in the South China Sea and a highway bribery scandal in Bangladesh, has won a $1 billion contract for a 360-hectares land reclamation project in Manila, Nikkei reports.
A U.S. firm and Australian shipbuilder have bid on the Philippines' largest shipyard in Subic Bay near the South China Sea, a project which has also attracted Chinese interest, Nikkei reports. The shipyard is located in an area that once hosted the largest overseas U.S. defense facility.
Philippines' President Duterte has shelved a number of megaprojects, including two Chinese-financed deals, under his "Build, Build, Build" program due to feasibility concerns. Instead, the government hopes to pursue public-private-partnerships to fund Duterte's multi-billion-dollar infrastructure program.
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has pushed national spending on infrastructure projects in hopes of creating an economic boom, though this model also carries risks, Nikkei reports.
An Australian and U.S. consortium are in exclusive talks to renovate the Subic Bay shipyard in the Philippines, a former U.S. naval base that opens up to the South China Sea, allaying fears over national security that were triggered by Chinese interest in acquiring the port, Nikkei reports.
China Telecom's future operations in the Philippines will be closely monitored by a government-operated cybersecurity platform, as the Chinese-led consortium prepares to launch third mobile carrier next year, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited Japan last month, his third visit in less than three years. In Tokyo, Duterte collected close to $6 billion in bilateral investment deals, including infrastructure, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
President Rodrigo Duterte's senatorial candidates could sweep the midterm elections in the Philippines next week. The midterm polls are widely seen as a referendum on Duterte and his policies, including his moves to further embrace China as a key funder of the country's ambitious infrastructure projects, reports Nikkei.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Japan in late May to discuss infrastructure projects the Japanese government is supporting in the Philippines, including the country's first-ever subway line in Manila. Duterte has also recently confirmed through a spokesman that he will attend April's international Belt and Road conference in Beijing, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Southeast Asian nations are investing in their urban rail infrastructure to ease road congestion impeding their further economic growth. In Hanoi, road congestion costs Vietnam as much as $1.2 billion in 2018, reports Nikkei.
A water shortage in the Philippine capital has forced President Rodrigo Duterte's administration to step in. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the shortage should prompt accelerated construction of the China-funded Kaliwa Dam, which opponents say may harm the environment, indigenous people and Philippine sovereignty, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
The Philippines held a groundbreaking ceremony for the country's first subway line under President Rodrigo Duterte's infrastructure push. The Japanese government is giving full backing to the project. The design and construction work will be implemented by a four-member consortium of Japanese contractors, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
While on a state visit to the Philippines, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad told journalists that if countries borrow money from China they cannot pay back, the country "may be under the control of the lender." The statement was read as a warning to Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who accepted a $9 billion credit line from China in 2016, reports Nikkei.
Southeast Asia’s strategic importance for China, the United States, Japan, and others, and the advantages that will come with control over data flows, mean that the region’s decisions on digital infrastructure and internet governance will have implications that far transcend business outcomes.
The Philippines' leading wireless provider Globe Telecom is on track to launch its Huawei Technologies-backed 5G service in the next quarter. The Philippines has joined Thailand and Singapore that are open to tapping Huawei for 5G amid rising security concerns related to the Chinese telecom equipment supplier, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Hanjin shipyard operator, HHIC-Phil, filed for bankruptcy after failing to pay $412 million in debts to five local banks and $900 million more to South Korean creditors. With state-backed Chinese companies offering to acquire the shipyard, Philippine's president Duterte faces a strategic dilemma regarding whether or not to accept this offer and grant the Chinese unlimited access to a vital naval and maritime asset.
Tokyo Gas and China National Offshore Oil Corporation both partnered with Filipino companies to compete for the building of the Philippines' first liquefied natural gas terminal. Though Japan and China's leaders agreed to jointly advance third-country infrastructure projects, companies have not been able to shift from competition to collaboration in the field, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
China agreed to fund the $365 million Kaliwa dam and take part in the $3.3 billion southern Luzon railway project in the Philippines. A memorandum of understanding on oil and gas exploration was also signed between the two countries.
China and the Philippines are expected to sign billions of dollars worth of Belt and Road deals on Tuesday, as the United States and the Philippines move forward on key issues including free trade talks, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Philippines and India have risen through the ranks in the World Economic Forum's latest Global Competitiveness Report, as the countries made improvements in infrastructure and innovation.
Chinese infrastructure investment throughout Southeast Asia has shifted the tide of opinion, simultaneously supporting authoritarian politics in certain states and engendering opposition to Belt and Road in others, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
President Rodrigo Duterte's large-scale infrastructure program has been driving imports and widening the Philippines' current account deficit causing the central bank to raise interest rates for a second consecutive month. The interest-rate increase is expected to support the peso, which has been trading at its lowest levels against the dollar in 12 years.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for a second package of tax reforms under his Comprehensive Tax Reform Program in order to help fund the country’s $160 billion infrastructure drive.
Japan is the leading infrastructure investor in the Philippines despite significant commitments from China. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Japan outspent China on infrastructure by a factor of nearly 20:1 during Duterte’s first year in office while Chinese investment has largely gone to industries such as tourism, real estate, casinos, and mineral resources.
Philippines to issue $230 million worth of yuan-denominated bonds that can be used for budget spending and Belt and Road projects. It will be the first Southeast Asia borrower to issue the so-called panda bond.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's administration raised excise taxes on coal, petroleum, cars, sugar-sweetened beverages, cosmetic surgery and other items, to fund his infrastructure projects. This is expected to raise $1.8 billion in its first year of implementation.
Philippine engineering group Megawide Construction and Mumbai-based GMR Infrastructure proposed a $3 billion expansion for Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Philippines plans to spend $154 billion on infrastructure projects by 2022, including the consideration of finally bringing Southeast Asia's only nuclear reactor to life three decades after its completion.
A conglomerate of 7 major companies has submitted a $6.75 billion proposal to expand and modernize Manila airport into a regional aviation hub.
San Miguel, the Philippines' largest listed company by revenue, has earmarked $13.6 billion to expand its investments in multiple sectors including power and transport infrastructure.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes all ten ASEAN leaders to New Dehli in an attempt to strengthen trade and connectivity with the bloc.
Trucks and bulldozers are clearing the way this week for a 38-kilometer stretch of train tracks that is one of the Philippines largest infrastructure projects under Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Domestic demand and the rollout of infrastructure projects in 2018 will continue to drive growth in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Aboitiz Group of the Philippines is looking at Chinese partners to help it expand at home and overseas.
New projections show India's economy becoming third largest in the world, with other major ASEAN nations surging forward to propel Asian economic growth.
Chinese premier proposes economic cooperation with former maritime rival Philippines.
Southeast Asian governments need to collect more taxes to sustain the region's infrastructure expansion, reports the OECD.
Shinzo Abe has pledged to deliver nearly $9 billion in aid to the Philippines to rebuild battle-damaged areas and improve infrastructure throughout the country.
Wary of China, Japan seeks to strengthen ties with Philippines.
Materials makers are stepping up to meet government's infrastructure ambitions.
Foreign investors are increasingly watchful over the investment climate in the Philippines
A Philippine conglomerate is pushing a new monorail connection to one of Metro Manila's busiest train lines.