The Philippines and China signed on Friday a six-year development program for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries in Davao City on Friday.
National Economic Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia and Fu Ziying of China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce signed the program.
The program “aims to steer and promote stable and orderly development of economic cooperation, enlarge the scope and enhance the level of cooperation, and drive sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic development in both countries.”
Fu and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang had met on Friday afternoon with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Pernia in Davao.
The two countries exchanged letters related to the first two feasibility studies of the nine projects getting support from the Chinese, covering projects such as Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridges Project and Davao City Expressway Project.
The officials discussed the recently approved Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022, and updates on bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, trade, investments, agriculture, fishery, tourism, and financing cooperation.
Local business leaders are expecting more investment opportunities, following Wang’s visit in Davao City on Friday to Saturday.
Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) president Ronald Go commended President Rodrigo R. Duterte for enhancing the country’s relationship with China.
“It only goes to show that our president has been successful in enhancing our diplomatic relations with China. There is apparent trust and confidence shown by the Chinese government,” he said.
He added the local business community welcomed Wang’s visit “because after this we expect more opportunities to follow for investment, trade, and commerce for the city of Davao.”
DCCCII chairman Antonio Dela Cruz believed this is the fruit of the country’s assertion of an “independent foreign policy”.
“In due time, our country will be reaping a bountiful harvest because of our down to earth and very hardworking President,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)