Chinese operator China Telecom has signed a $5.4 billion deal to get involved in Mislatel, the Philippines third CSP.
The other stakeholders are Udenna Corporation and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation but it’s not clear how much cash each is contributing to the enterprise. The full name of the new operator is Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company but presumably it will be available to the entire population of the Philippines.
“This is a historic occasion,” said Udenna Chairman Dennis Uy. “This is another step forward in realizing Udenna’s vision to improve the lives of Filipinos. Everything that we do is about making lives better not just for this generation, but for the next generation. And that is happening here. Thank you to our partners and to all for being a part of this journey.”
Isn’t that nice? There was no quote from a China Telecom person, although apparently its Chairman Ke Ruiwen turned up to the ceremonial signing that seems to be a prerequisite to actually doing stuff in that part of the world. Presumably he is no less committed to improving the lives of successive generations of Filipinos and any strategic benefit his company achieves as a result of bankrolling infrastructure projects outside of China is entirely incidental.
The big signing took place at the second belt and road forum for international cooperation event, which is China’s big international trade strategy and an opportunity for President Xi Jinping to get his photo taken shaking hands with other politicians. A lot of it seems to involve massive foreign direct investment, so this was certainly the right place to make such an announcement. Here’s an infographic summarising what it was all about.