Philippines says telecom offer not just for China

by BLOOMBERG

MANILAThe Philippines will open up its telecommunications sector to more foreign investors, and an invitation by President Rodrigo Duterte isn’t just for Chinese companies, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

“The best offer would be picked from other offers as well,” Pernia told reporters on Saturday at a forum in Manila, when asked if only Chinese companies would be considered by the government.

Duterte, who has sought warmer ties with Beijing amid a territorial dispute between the two countries, offered China the right to operate in the South-East Asian nation during bilateral talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang last month, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said on Nov 20.

Duterte’s commitment to open up the sector has prompted local companies to start talks with China’s two biggest telecommunications provider to help challenge PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom Inc’s dominance.

The president’s order for government agencies to act swiftly to ease foreign-investment limits is a first step toward opening up the telecommunications sector, according to Pernia. — Bloomberg