Philippines, China to sign 5-year trade development program
Despite some political disagreements, the governments of the Philippines and China are set to sign at the end of the month a five-year development program for trade and economic cooperation.
At the 27th Philippines-China Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation meeting earlier this month, Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said the two governments agreed to fast-track the formulation of the five-year development program.
“The objective is to fast-track this and sign by the end of the month,” he told reporters Monday.
This medium-term plan, Cristobal said, was meant to improve trade between the two countries as well as better facilitate investment inflow.
Cristobal said China was one of the key emerging markets that the country was targeting for its exports, particularly at this time when the Philippines’ biggest trading partners, Japan and the United States, are experiencing some problems.
According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines’ exports to China reached $2.86 billion in the first half and $481.73 million in June alone.
Last year, total trade between the Philippines and China hit $10.31 billion. Exports alone surged 94.61 percent vis-à-vis the 2009 figures.
“But we have yet to realize its full potential and benefits,” Cristobal had said, referring to China as a market. “We intend to pursue China as an emerging market for finished goods.”
The latest Philippine Export Development Plan identified China as one of the major markets for Philippine exports, along with other nontraditional markets such as India and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
President Aquino is set to visit China within the third quarter to further discuss areas of economic cooperation.
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