Hong Kong Architect Plans to Build Fully Developed, Man-Made Island in Manila Bay, Meets President Duterte

A Hong Kong architect is now planning to build a fully-developed, man-made island near Manila Bay. This is after he won a tender via a public-private partnership project of the Philippine government, and shall create a plan and coordinate the design of an artificial island dubbed as City of Pearl, which will be as big as 20 Victoria Parks combined.

"The City of Pearl is an example that there are real business opportunities in belt and road countries. Its estimated valuation is about US$100 billion," Nicholas Ho was quoted at South China Morning Post in its report this Sunday, July 9. He is the deputy managing director of Ho and Partners, which is both overall planner and development consultant for the said project.

“We want the City of Pearl to provide mobility to the young people of the Philippines. It is a city for the future of the country.” Ho added, who have already personally met President Rodrigo Duterte in one occasion. The Hong Kong architect also met with former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada. Both of them supported his project.

“It is where multinationals will set up their offices and it is where upwardly mobile and young Filipinos will want to work.” Ho further said, noting that the massive artificial island will sport futuristic office buildings, residential blocks, leisure facilities, and government facilities as well. Water taxis will be the means of transportation within Manila districts.

Ho and Partners was founded by Bosco Ho Hin-ngai, Nicholas' father, and is known for designing the Sheung Wan building in Hong Kong, where the houses of Beijing’s liaison office sit. According to the son, competition is now intense in Hong Kong and China but growth is slowing. Therefore, one must think of seeking opportunities in new markets.

Interestingly, this proposed City of Pearl island in Manila Bay is part of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative,' an ambitious foreign policy by Chinese President Xi Jinping. In this strategy, Chinese companies aim to invest in infrastructure in volatile countries, particularly within Asia. Hence, it can also create a more stable relationship with its neighboring countries.

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