Closer Manila-Beijing ties boost fund flows, tourism
Amid closer economic ties, the Philippines and China stand to withstand challenges to their respective domestic economies moving forward, the head of the Duterte administration’s economic team said.
“The economies of our two countries are leading the region in growth. Both our economies demonstrated resiliency in the face of global challenges. With our increased cooperation, we can better defy the adverse developments at the global level and continue our rapid expansion to benefit our peoples,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a speech during the Philippine Economic Briefing held in Beijing, China last Wednesday.
“China is gearing up to meet the forecast of slower global growth this year by a policy mix that includes boosting domestic consumer demand and expansionary monetary policy. The rest of the region depends much on China’s impressive growth. We are confident this great nation will continue its remarkable economic transformation,” the Finance chief said.
“Like China, the Philippines is well positioned to sustain its economic expansion long into the future. Despite the adverse trends in the global economy, we are confident our internal growth engines will continue driving the economy to support a GDP (gross domestic product) expansion of 7 percent—this is our fighting target,” he added.
Besides partnership in infrastructure development, closer ties between Manila and Beijing have also resulted into a “breathtaking pace” of growth in trade, tourism and investment flows, the finance chief said.
“Last year, China, including its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau, was our biggest trading partner, with a total trade of about $43 billion, 13-percent higher than in 2017. We likewise benefit from larger tourist flows from China—Chinese tourists have reached 1.38 million arrivals, 27-percent higher than in 2017. The Philippine economy also benefits from numerous investments by Chinese enterprises. China (with Hong Kong and Macao) was our second-largest source of investments in the Philippines with net foreign direct investments growing 244 percent to $479 million in 2018,” he said.
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