DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Duterte administration is looking forward to bring more projects, tourists and investments in the country as it pivots to China.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda said President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China, at the invitation by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is hailed by many as a game changing pivot in trade and investment.
He said that China is the third largest trading partner of the Philippines with about USD17 billion investment in the country, next to ASEAN with USD18 billion and Japan as the largest with USD21 billion.
Salceda said a stronger bilateral relations with China, more like the existing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, could easily yield additional PHP72 billion in import VAT from “smuggled goods,” the undeclared and under declared commodities.
“The Philippines needs China’s capacity for infrastructure, especially in the transport and power sectors for railways development and renewable energy, respectively, and its advance technology for agriculture and manufacturing. The railways loan could be secured through the Official Development Assistance (ODA),” he explained.
Tourism is another industry that the two countries can strike cooperation in, through bilateral agreements, with China’s 500 million tourists, only some 432,000 of which came to the Philippines in 2015, he said.
Salceda said Duterte’s current stance has awaken Filipinos from their “cognitive dissonance” with the US, and which on the whole, assumes a “more structural adjustments towards equidistant relations” with all economic powers, among them China and the US. (davaotoday.com)