More Philip­pine trade

Bei­jing to en­cour­age in­creased com­merce, im­ports

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By JING SHUIYU and ZHONG­NAN Con­tact the writ­ers through jing­shuiyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will en­cour­age its com­pa­nies to in­crease their in­vest­ment in the Philip­pines, while rais­ing im­ports from the South­east Asian coun­try, said the Min­istry of Com­merce on Thurs­day.

Min­istry spokesman Sun Ji­wen said at a news con­fer­ence that the two sides were ne­go­ti­at­ing a five-year eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion plan start­ing from 2017, which will iden­tify key bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion fields.

More bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion meth­ods are in the pipe­line, ac­cord­ing to Sun. Both coun­tries will dis­cuss es­tab­lish­ing an eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion zone in the Philip­pines.

The 28th China-the Philip­pines Joint Com­mis­sion on Eco­nomic and Trade Co­op­er­a­tion will be held at the be­gin­ning of 2017, co-chaired by Chi­nese Com­merce Min­is­ter Gao Hucheng and Ra­mon M Lopez, sec­re­tary of the Philip­pines De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try.

“China will con­tinue to ex­pand im­ports from the Philip­pines, es­pe­cially agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, and en­cour­age Chi­nese com­pa­nies to in­vest in the Philip­pines,” said Sun.

In ad­di­tion, China will con­sider of­fer­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port to the Philip­pines’ in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, and hopes the coun­try will con­firm a list of pri­or­i­ties as soon as pos­si­ble, Sun added.

Ear­lier this week, Wu Zheng­ping, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Min­istry of Com­merce’s de­part­ment of Asian af­fairs, said China will en­cour­age its com­pa­nies to set up a large in­dus­trial zone in the South­east Asian coun­try.

While the to­tal trade vol­ume be­tween China and the As­so­ci­a­tion of the South­east Asian Na­tions in­creased 0.1 per­cent year-on-year to 2.38 tril­lion yuan ($346 bil­lion) be­tween Jan­uary and Oc­to­ber, trade be­tween China and the Philip­pines grew 10.7 per­cent to 252.8 bil­lion yuan dur­ing the same pe­riod, data from the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms 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 two coun­tries’ eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions will heat up af­ter the re­cent visit of Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte to Bei­jing, experts said.

Prior to that, Philip­pine di­rect in­vest­ment in China was $38.67 mil­lion in 2015, down 60.16 per­cent from the year be­fore, ac­cord­ing to fi­nan­cial data provider Wind In­for­ma­tion.

“Even though both coun­tries have dis­agree­ments on some is­sues, it doesn’t mean they are in­ca­pable of build­ing bet­ter busi­ness ties, es­pe­cially in the fields of trade and in­vest­ment,” said Feng Yaox­i­ang, spokesman for the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade.

He Jing­tong, a pro­fes­sor of trade pol­icy at Nankai Univer­sity in Tian­jin, said that China and the Philip­pines also reached a con­sen­sus in Au­gust to speed up the ne­go­ti­a­tion of the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship.

China will con­tinue to ex­pand im­ports from the Philip­pines ...” Sun Ji­wen, spokesman of the Min­istry of Com­merce

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