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6.07.2007

HOW A BUSINESS SCANDAL IN FAR AWAY AND LITTLE TOWN MANILA CAN POSSIBLY ROCK GERMAN POLITICS

A quick comparison of Germany and the Philippines shows that its land and population sizes are quite identical. Germany has a land area of 357 thousand sq km and a population of 82.4 Million while the Philippines has 300 thousand sq km and 87.8 million respectively.

However, a continued look will show that most of the other characteristics will paint a picture of David and Goliath. Most glaring is Germany's GDP (adjusted based on Purchasing Power Parity) of US$2.85 Trillion compared to the Philippines' $443.1 Billion. In terms of equality, Germany's percentage of population below poverty line is a low 11% compared to the Philippines' 40 percent.

Though the picture paints a thin and weak Philippines compared to a muscular European country, something is brewing in that part of Asia which threatens to scandalize German politics.

It all started with a noble project on 1996 to Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) a new Manila airport terminal. The bidding was won by PairCargo and its partner Fraport AG of Germany which immediately started building the new terminal. However, before the project can be completed, the project became the subject of lawsuits and arbitration between the Philippine government and Frapport AG. Much has been written about the case but a new twist recently came when a German stockholder of Frapport AG recently came into the Philippines and is said to have brought documents that may weaken the German firms position.
"The documents entrusted to Wengert included minutes of a Fraport board meeting with incriminating evidence showing that the board new and approved certain acts that violated several Philippines laws, including the foreign ownership limits, anti-graft, the build-operate-transfer law, among others."
While this may be nothing like an ENRON scandal, one explosive twist is the involvement of some of Germany's potential future leaders who sit at the Frapport board. Newspapers in the Philippines have reported that the stockholder has already been sued several times in order to prevent him from disclosing the potentially damaging documents. Such cases simply fueled more curiosity over the case.

3 comments:

tutubi said...

got that right

philippines change the rules in the middle of the game

:(

Antonio Andolini said...

Hi Tutubi!

I had my sympathies for Frapport until I heard about that deliberate attempt to use illegal means to do business in the Philippines.

If the allegations are proven to be true, they should pay for playing around with German and Philippine laws.

BPO.ASIA said...

I agree with both of you. Those at fault must do something to rectify the damages caused.