Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, October 27, 2006

Economic, security gains from RP-China ties assured

The Philippines can reap economic and security benefits from maintaining friendly relations with China, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assured Thursday.

"There are many advantages if this continues," she said, noting People's Republic of China President Hu Jintao earlier described Sino-Philippine relations as entering its golden age.

She cited gains in trade, tourism, infrastructure and security protection which the world's former 'Sleeping Giant' can offer as one of Asia's major powerhouses today.

"China is a big market of about 1.3 billion people and also a source of accessible loans," she noted.

Among upcoming Philippine-based Chinese investments Mrs. Arroyo cited are USD1 million for a nickel mining project in Nonoc, Surigao del Norte province and USD300 for a glass factory in Subic, Zambales province.

"The Chinese also buy more from us than we from them so many jobs are created from this trade and such can help us address poverty," she continued.

She said China accounts for about half of total Philippine electronics exports to Southeast Asia and is also the country's top buyer of locally produced bananas and pineapple.

Due to its expanding economy, President Arroyo likewise said more and more Chinese are traveling abroad.

She said this development signals additional revenue-generating opportunities for government since the Philippines can capture this emerging market of Chinese tourists.

China is also funding the Metro Manila-Malolos City leg of government's Northrail rail transportation project aimed at boosting economy in northern Luzon by helping facilitate movement of people and goods.

The Chief Executive noted, however, China will likewise help government build the Southrail project which will link Metro Manila to Laguna province in southern Luzon.

Aside from such economic gains, she also said China can help maintain world peace.

"If China continues being a good big brother and good neighbor to countries in our region, peace is possible," she said.

President Arroyo is scheduled to embark Friday on a five-day official trip to Nanning, China where she will attend the commemorative summit celebrating 15 years of economic, political and cultural collaboration and partnership between that country and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This event is particularly significant for the Philippines as the country is chairing this year's ASEAN summit to be held in Cebu province.

Aside from attending the summit, Malacanang announced the Chief Executive and her delegation will visit Xiamen, Jin Jiang, Nanchang, Guilin to meet with Filipinos and prominent Chinese businessmen there. (PNA)


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