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China urges more open PH market

Increased bilateral trade, investments seen

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02:41 AM May 6th, 2013

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By: Riza T. Olchondra, May 6th, 2013 02:41 AM

Chinese businessmen are urging the Philippines to further open its market and to actively promote its business opportunities and famous brands to attract investors, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. has reported.

Philexport said Xu Ningning, executive secretary general of the China-Asean Business Council, had said in a meeting with local business leader that the two countries might further open their markets under the framework of a China-Asean free trade area.

Ningning pushed for the implementation of the five-year development program for trade and economic cooperation signed by the Philippines and China in 2011 that was aimed at expanding the volume of bilateral trade to $60 billion by 2016, Philexport said.

Philippine companies were also urged “to enhance their capacity to explore the Chinese market.”

China was willing to cooperate with the Philippines in sectors like agriculture, fishery, infrastructure, mining, energy, information and communications technology, manufacturing, tourism, engineering service, forestry and some other areas, Ningning said.

“There are huge cooperation potential and numerous business opportunities for trade and economic cooperation between China and the Philippines,” Ningning said.

Ningning said that as Chinese enterprises were eager to go out, Asean countries have become their biggest markets.

He said the Philippines was one of their target markets due to its growing economic potential. The economy is expected to grow by 6 to 7 percent this year.

“At present, the Philippines is actively attracting foreign investments and promoting its industrial development. And China is actively implementing its 12th Five-Year Plan, with its average annual GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate at 7 percent as planned,” he said.

Yu Ping, vice chair of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said both countries were highly complementary in the areas of agricultural technology, industrial development, tourism and education. CCPIT is China’s biggest trade organization.

“With regards to industrial cooperation, China and the Philippines have vast space for growth as China has established a complete set of manufacturing systems and the Philippines has the advantage in semiconductor and electronic products,” Ping said.

Ping said many Chinese entrepreneurs in the automobile and electricity sectors were interested in exploring the Philippine market.

In 2012, bilateral trade between China and the Philippines reached $36.37 billion, increasing 12.8 percent year on year. This growth rate was higher than the 6.2-percent expansion in China’s foreign trade.

The two countries also enjoyed two-way investments of $195 million last year. Philippine investments in China reached $130 million, while China invested $65.45 million in the Philippines.

New project contracts signed by Chinese firms in the Philippines grew by 63.2 percent to $1.02 billion in 2012, according to Philexport.

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