Chinese investors eye more projects in Phl
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese investors are looking at participating in more infrastructure projects in the Philippines under the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration.
More than 500 investors based in Beijing and nearby areas attended the Philippine Economic Briefing held by economic managers led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.
China is among the Philippines’ biggest sources of imports, among its biggest export markets, among the major sources of official development assistance and among major sources of foreign direct investments.
“Like China, the Philippines is well positioned for growth. The Philippines, with a fast-growing economy and business-friendly tax reforms, is perfect for investment,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez cited the country’s strong fiscal position that has paved the way for the government to invest in an ambitious infrastructure program that works in concert with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“We look forward to a seamless network for the flow of goods, the exchange of best practices, and boundless cooperation in the coming years,” the DOF chief said.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the Philippine economic growth is broad-based, supported by strong consumption, a resurgence of industry and manufacturing, anchored on robust potential capacity, and accompanied by a manageable inflation environment.
“The inflation outlook as well as market expectations have declined further and are now aligned to the inflation target for 2019-2022 following the BSP monetary responses and implementation of the national government’s non-monetary measures,” Guinigundo said.
In recent years, the Philippines has been among the fastest growing economies in the region and the world, registering above-six percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the past 15 consecutive quarters.
Meanwhile, the DOF also said economic ties between the Philippines and China are expected to further flourish in the coming years, with Beijing committing to provide additional support in the areas of trade and investments.
During a high-level meeting in Beijing, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told Dominguez that he sees more room for future cooperation between the Philippines and China.
“I can see enormous potential for our cooperation moving forward as long as we work together,” Zhong said.
According to Zhong, China is “more than happy to enhance pragmatic cooperation with the Philippines in a broader area and at a high level.”
He said China is willing to increase its imports of Philippine goods, and assured that the Chinese market remains open to Filipino entrepreneurs.
The Chinese official also committed to encourage more Chinese companies to invest in the Philippines and “to continuously increase (China’s) help and assistance to the Philippines on the economic front.”
Dominguez, in response, said the Philippines is looking forward to implementing more strategic infrastructure projects with financing support from China.
During their meeting, both Zhong and Dominguez have cited the progress made in enhancing the bilateral relations between Manila and Beijing.
Dominguez said the country’s relationship with China has become “closer and more comprehensive” over the past two years under the Duterte administration.
Zhong, for his part, said both countries have made headway in their bilateral relations amid the continuously increasing mutual trust arising from frequent people-to-people exchanges. – With Mary Grace Padin