CLARK FREEPORT -- Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines "Dato" Sri Dr. Ibrahim Saad has endorsed the BriSteel Overseas Ventures Incorporated (BOV) for the development of Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).

The ambassador, at the same time, vouched for BOV's reputation when the consortium presented its development plan for the DMIA Terminal 2 to the local officials, traders, and media at the Holiday Inn Hotel here Friday.

The Malaysian consortium earlier expressed its intention to forge an agreement with the Philippine government in developing the DMIA Terminal 2 project.

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Describing the project as "friendly investment," Saad said Malaysia and the Philippines are partners in development.

"Malaysia is the second largest trading partner of the Philippines," he said.

The ambassador also said that Malaysian Airports, a government-owned corporation, has been developing airports in other Asean countries and middle-east.

The consortium, Saad added, is associated with the Malaysian government and that it is supposed to be good.

He even cited the partnership of the private sector and the government in Malaysia through the Private Funded Initiatives (PFI).

The PFI system is implemented in Malaysia but the private firms are responsible to the government, he said.

Saan also assured that the Malaysian government monitors all of the projects implemented by its private firms all over the world.

The ambassador even cited the thrust of President Benigno Aquino III for a strong public private sector partnership in terms of development.

"Investors put their money here because they are confident with the leadership of the government," Saad said.

Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales welcomed the Malaysian firm's proposal, saying the development of the DMIA will boost the local economy.

Considering the presence of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, Clark airport, and other infrastructure projects, the town will develop into a bustling city like Makati.

BOV is a partnership of globally-acclaimed Construction of Infrastructure Concessions, Properties and Township Development, Construction and Operation of International Airports, and Land Transportation Hubs.

The Malaysian firm will invest some US$150 million for the project.

Under the BriSteel's development plan, the capacity of the airport will increase to seven million passengers per annum. (Reynaldo G. Navales)