Bei­jing, Manila to pro­mote more trade

China is now the Philip­pines’ sec­ond­largest trade part­ner and its largest im­port source.

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI in Bei­jing zhangyunbi@chi­

Be­fore Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte ar­rived in Bei­jing on Tues­day evening for his four­day state visit, the Min­istry of Com­merce con­firmed that Bei­jing and Manila were “ac­tively pre­par­ing” for fur­ther eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion.

The po­ten­tial out­comes “will be tan­gi­ble”, and will in­clude ex­panded im­ports of fruits from the Philip­pines, Min­istry of Com­merce spokesman Shen Danyang told a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The Philip­pines is cur­rently the largest sup­plier of ba­nanas to China, ac­count­ing for 82 per­cent of the coun­try’s ba­nana im­ports. It also pro­vides 70 per­cent of China’s pineap­ple im­ports.

Bi­lat­eral trade has been over­shad­owed since 2012, when the re­la­tion­ship dead­locked over a ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute that led to the Philip­pines uni­lat­er­ally fil­ing an ar­bi­tra­tion case un­der Duterte’s pre­de­ces­sor, Benigno Aquino III.

Dur­ing the visit, both sides will “em­bark on in-depth dis­cus­sions about ways to ex­pand bi­lat­eral trade, pro­mote and guide (Chi­nese) en­ter­prises to ex­pand in­vest­ment in the Philip­pines and strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in fields in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion”, Shen said.

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said on Tues­day that Duterte has cho­sen to re­build the friend­ship with China and re­turn to di­a­logue and co­op­er­a­tion, and this “shows the wishes of the Philip­pine peo­ple and serves Philip­pine in­ter­ests and na­tional de­vel­op­ment, and no one and no force can pre­vent it”.

Wang later greeted Duterte as the Philip­pine pres­i­dent ar­rived at Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Tues­day evening.

Chen Qinghong, a re­searcher on South­east Asian and Philip­pine stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­search, said re­in­forc­ing eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion with China will max­i­mize Manila’s in­ter­ests.

China is now the Philip­pines’ sec­ond-largest trade part­ner, its largest im­port source and its third-largest ex­port mar­ket.


Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, ac­com­pa­nied by For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi, is greeted at Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port at the start of his four­day state visit on Tues­day.

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