BEIJING, China — China will continue to become the Philippines’ major market and trading partner in the coming years, the country’s ambassador here said on Monday.
“China is and will continue be a major market and economic partner of the Philippines,” Philippine Ambassador to China Erlinda Basilio said in an interview with Radio TV Malacanang on Monday.
“Both countries have long term complimentary trade and investment interests to serve. With these, we are very positive of the growth potential of our economic bilateral and trade relations in the years ahead,” she added.
Basilio said the Philippines is prepared to work with China in nurturing its priority industries particularly in testing and certification, medical services, innovation and technology, cultural and creative industry, environmental industries and education services.
The Philippines will also seize the opportunities offered by the tariff free regime resulting from the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement.
“The free trade agreement is a useful instrument to facilitate networking with government agencies, private and state owned enterprises and business people of the Philippines and China,” she said.
The Philippines also made economic gains in recent years, allowing it to make significant improvements in its infrastructures, she said, adding that the government continued to recognize the role of infrastructure development towards attaining inclusive growth and poverty reduction.
The government’s priority agenda is developing efficient, reliable, cost effective, and sustainable infrastructure such as in transportation, water, power, waste management, toll ways, railways, and telecommunication facilities, the ambassador said.
To develop these areas, the government encourages the private sector’s participation through the implementation of the public private partnership program for financing, construction, operation and maintaining of priority infrastructure projects.
With regards to investments, it is perceived that China’s overseas interest whether globally, or in the Philippines, is to secure resources required for its development needs.
Basilio said that historically, China’s investments in the Philippines were in the mining sector. But the Philippines now encourages China’s participation in agriculture, transportation, tourism as well as in processing and manufacturing.