China, Philip­pines push en­hanced trade

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHONGNAN zhongnan@chi­

China and the Philip­pines have agreed to restart the joint com­mis­sion on com­merce and trade to in­crease trade be­tween the two coun­tries, af­ter their ties were jeop­ar­dized by an ar­bi­tra­tion case over the South China Sea dis­pute.

“Even though both coun­tries have dis­agree­ments on other is­sues, it doesn’t mean they are in­ca­pable of build­ing bet­ter busi­ness ties, es­pe­cially in the fields of trade and in­vest­ment,” Shen Danyang, spokesman­for theMin­istry ofCom­merce, said on Wed­nes­day.

The mech­a­nism is a di­a­logue that ad­dresses com­mer­cial and trade is­sues be­tween the two coun­tries.

Shen’s com­ments came af­ter Com­merce Min­is­ter GaoHucheng met Ra­monM Lopez, the Filipino sec­re­tary of the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try, in Vi­en­tiane, the cap­i­tal of Laos, ear­lier this month.

Both sides agreed to restart a di­a­logue be­tween gov­ern­ments about eco­nomics and trade as soon as pos­si­ble and to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion on trade, in­vest­ment, tourism and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, Shen said.

The Filipino sec­re­tary of trade and in­dus­try also ac­cepted his Chi­nese coun­ter­part’s in­vi­ta­tion to visit China in the near fu­ture.

This is the first time for the two min­is­ters to meet since Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte took of­fice at the end of June.

China and the Philip­pines also reached con­sen­sus to speed up the ne­go­ti­a­tion of the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship, Shen said.

Even­thoughthe to­tal trade vol­ume be­tween China and the As­so­ci­a­tion of the South­east Asian Na­tions dropped 7.1 per­cent year-onyear to $173.57 bil­lion be­tween Jan­uary and May, trade be­tween China and the Philip­pines grew5.9per­cent dur­ing the same pe­riod, data from the Min­istry of Com­merce showed.

Trade be­tween China and the Philip­pines amounted to $45.65 bil­lion in 2015, up 2.7 per­cent on a year-on-year ba­sis.

The Philip­pines mainly ships semi­con­duc­tor and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts in­clud­ing ba­nanas, co­conuts, rice, min­ing and aquatic prod­ucts to China. Trans­port equip­ment, con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery, elec­tron­ics, gar­ments and light­ing prod­ucts areChina’s main ex­ports to the Philip­pines.

Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Min­istry of Com­merce

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