China-Philippines economic and trade ties comes out of slump: official
Photo shows a booth from the Philippines at this year’ China Fruit & Vegetable Fair on Nov, 4th, 2017. Newly-released statistics show economic and trade cooperation between China and the Philippines start to rebound this year after slumping the previous few years. [Photo: VCG]
Newly-released stats show economic and trade cooperation between China and the Philippines is starting to rebound this year after slumping the previous few years amid maritime disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea.
CRI's Xie Cheng has more.
Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen says China has become the Philippine's biggest trading partner and source of imports, as well as the 4th largest export market.
"Bilateral trade volume between China and the Philippines has grown by 7.8 percent year on year during the first nine months. Chinese enterprises are further gaining confidence and quickening their pace to invest in the Philippines. During the same period, China's investment to the Philippines increased by 7.2 percent."
China has also become the Philippine's 3rd biggest source of tourists, with Chinese travelers to the southeast Asian nation reaching 641,000 during the first eight months of this year, accounting for 14.4 percent of all foreign tourists to the Philippines.
It's expected that the Philippines will receive a total of 1 million Chinese visitors this year.
Wilson Lee Flores, a columnist for newspaper the Philippine Star, says China's opening up policy has played an important role in boosting its economic relations with other countries.
"China has been pushing forward the opening up policy when seeking its own development over the past years by advocating globalization, promoting trade and developing partnerships with other countries. The policy has brought, and will continue to bring concrete benefits to those countries, including the Philippines, in a variety of areas such as trade, investment and tourism."
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is now on a visit to the Philippines, the first one by a Chinese premier to the Southeast Asian country in a decade.
Cui Fan with the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing says the visit can help strengthen bilateral relations and further benefit peoples from both countries.
"China's Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippine's Ambition Nation 2040 project can be well aligned through the visit, so as to facilitate pragmatic cooperation and enhance the development of some key projects."
Wang Shouwen called on both Chinese and Philippine companies to grasp the opportunities brought by the visit to upgrade bilateral economic ties to a new level.
In March, the two sides signed the six-year Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation, aiming to ensure stable and sound development of economic cooperation.
China has said it's aiming to strengthen bilateral cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, e-commerce, agriculture and fishery.
It's also planning to invite the Philippines to attend the first China International Import Expo scheduled to open next year.
For CRI, I'm Xie Cheng.