300 investors joining Russia trip
Around 300 investors will accompany President Duterte during his official visit to Russia this week, courting the otherwise nontraditional ally in a bid to bring home economic gains, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
On the part of the DTI, Lopez said that he was expected to bring home two memorandums of understanding—one on trade and investment promotion and another on industry cooperation.
“I heard it would be about 300 [investors]. We can discuss all aspects of relations [with Russia]. The main task really is for them to increase their awareness of the Philippines, the businesses here and the opportunities here,” he said.
The agreements would be done through government-to-government and private-to-private transactions.
Duterte is scheduled to make an official visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg from May 23 to 26.
The firebrand leader last went to Russia in November wherein Russian President Vladimir Putin committed to buy $2.5 billion worth of Philippine agricultural products—a pledge which is expected to be implemented later this year.
This developed following the inaugural meeting of the Philippines-Russia Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC) in April.
The first JCTEC meeting tackled economic cooperation initiatives in areas such as trade, investments, industry, peaceful use of nuclear energy and agriculture, among others, according to DTI.
Earlier this month, Duterte made an official visit to China where he attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
He brought home four agreements from a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping.
One of these included a 500 million renminbi financing to do a feasibility study for major projects, including the construction of a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center, and bridges crossing the Pasig River.
China hosted 28 heads of state and government in Beijing last week to introduce the “belt and road” initiative, Xi’s ambitious foreign policy launched in 2013. The “one belt, one road” program involves China financing billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries along the old Silk Road linking it with Europe and China plans to spend about $150 billion a year in the 68 countries that have signed up to the project.
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