Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Atienza leads sales blitz in Singapore

Joel M. Sy Egco
The Manila Standard

A joint government-private sector delegation has embarked on a mission to Singapore to promote the Philippines as a mining haven in Asia.

Leading the group is Environment Secretary Lito Atienza who will meet with top executives of mining giants from all over the world.

Singapore is hosting the Asia Mining Congress, a yearly conference which showcases the Philippines and nine other mineral-rich countries in the region, namely: China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea.

Attending the conference are ranking mining and environment ministers from Asean region, mining chief executives, global investors and other key industry stakeholders.

A statement released by Atienza’s office said the environment chief left for Singapore yesterday with Minerals Development Council executive director Ramon Paje, and Mines and Geosciences Bureau director Horacio Ramos.

The private sector delegation is headed by Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and Asean Federation of Mining Associations president Philip Romualdez, who is also presenting regulatory updates for foreign mining companies looking to operate in the Philippines.

Also attending and delivering presentations on their respective experiences in the Philippines are top executives of Sagittarius Mines Inc., Indophil Resources, Royalco, OceanaGold, and CGA Resources.

Atienza will deliver a keynote speech during the event and is expected to discuss key developments in the industry, including the recent policy reforms and the headways made by the government since launching its revitalization program for mining.

The Philippine government has identified mining as one of the critical sectors in stimulating economic growth and development. It has projected the industry to generate US$10 billion in investments by 2010, and expects the year 2008 to be the banner year for the industry as seven more projects come on stream.

Since the mining revival in 2004, the government has generated $1.4 billion in investments and created more than 6,500 jobs from 63 mining and exploration projects in the country.

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