Industrialize PH with China investments, solon urges
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Sunday said new Chinese investment in the Philippines should ensure technology transfer to propel the country to industrialization.
President Duterte’s four-day official visit to China last week generated $24 billion in commitments that, should they materialize, could lead to the creation of 2 million jobs in the next five years.
Zarate said the Duterte administration’s “economic pivot” to China should do away with the pitfalls of the public-private-partnership projects of the previous administrations that were laden with harsh impositions dictated by the International Monetary Fund-World Bank and other multilateral financial institutions.
“These new investments should now depart from making us a mere source of cheap raw material, cheap labor and a dumping ground for surplus products, like what the [United States] did to the Philippines for decades,” he said.
“While it is a welcome prospect that the $15 billion in economic investments will be concentrated on steel, railways, ports and energy, which are generally part of basic industries, yet, the Duterte administration must ensure that these investments will primarily fall under state control and strict regulations. These should be geared to the service of the Filipino people and not primarily for profit of Chinese firms and their local elite counterparts,” he said.
China will provide $9 billion in soft loans, including a $3 billion credit line with the Bank of China. The government should use the funds to propel national industrialization, Zarate said.
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