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PBBM cites China trip gains

Highlights $22.8B investment pledges in his arrival report to the nation

Beijing—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his three-day state visit to the People’s Republic of China generated $22.8 billion worth of investment pledges.

PRODUCTIVE TRIP. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrives at the Villamor Air Base Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, after a three-day state visit to China. 

“It was a very quick visit, but we accomplished a lot. It was very productive. It was worth it,” Mr. Marcos said in an interview with reporters in Beijing before arriving in Manila Thursday afternoon.

He said he talked up opportunities for Chinese investors, both current and potential.

“We are telling them to expand their involvement in the Philippines. And for those who have yet to enter the Philippines, we are telling them the investment climate now is good, and there are several opportunities to partner up in every way whether government-to-government or public-private partnership or private sector,” the President said.

The commitments from various Chinese investors include $13.76 billion for renewable energy, $7.32 billion for electric vehicles and mineral processing, and $1.72 billion for agriculture, Marcos said.

China’s economic and political pledges also include the narrowing of the trade gap that heavily favors Beijing and a “compromise” on the concerns of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippines Sea (WPS).

Mr. Marcos said he also invited Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he met Wednesday, to visit the Philippines.

In a meeting Thursday with Chinese chief executives, the President said there weree investment opportunities for them in the Philippines as energy demand continues to grow and keep pace with the country’s projected strong economic growth.

“We look forward to more Chinese investments in renewable energy pursuits such as in solar and wind, as well as in related sectors including battery energy storage systems and off-grid power supply systems,” he said.

They may also find potential in the manufacturing of renewable energy project parts and equipment, he said, hoping they can help the Philippines develop expertise in power generation equipment manufacturing.

At the same time, the Philippines also welcomes investors in photovoltaic, onshore and offshore wind turbine generation, waste-to-energy, and other renewable energy projects, the President said.

Also during the round-table meeting, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla promised to address issues confronting the Philippine energy sector, assuring investors that the government is working on them.

One of these is the connection to the grid, which the Energy department is currently working on, to ensure that the connection to the grid will be there, especially for offshore wind power.

As the State Grid of China holds a 40 percent interest in the national grid company of the Philippines, Lotilla said it is important for the Philippines to work together with China.

“So we look forward to continued cooperation on your part and we would like to assure you that working together with our Department of Trade and Industry, we will provide you with full support in order to hasten the cooperation between the Philippines and China,” he said.

Lotilla also echoed during the meeting the Marcos administration’s goal of attaining 35 percent renewable energy by 2030, and 50 percent by 2040.

To meet those targets, he said an additional 52,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2040 will be needed.

“And of the 52,000 [energy demand], 27,000 megawatts will be from solar and another 16,000 megawatts from wind,” he said.

“But this does not take into account right now the total offshore wind potential of 178 gigawatts or 178,000 megawatts for the Philippines as a whole,” he added.

During his three-day visit, Mr. Marcos also witnessed the signing of 14 bilateral agreements with China.

The Philippines and China signed a joint action plan for 2023-2025 on agricultural and fisheries cooperation between the Department of Agriculture and China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, as well as a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Both sides also agreed on the handover certificate of the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology-Technological Cooperation Phase III (PHILSCAT-TCP III).

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China and the Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on digital and information and communications technology cooperation.

An agreement was also forged on a protocol for “phytosanitary requirements” for the export of fresh durian from the Philippines to China between the DA and China’s General Administration of Customs.

Also signed was the handover certificate of two China-aid bridge projects in Manila—the Binondo-Intramuros bridge and the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge.

Both countries also agreed on a framework agreement for the Renminbi (RMB) portion of the loan financing for three priority projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways and further sealed four loan agreements for the mixed-credit financing (USD and RMB) of three priority bridge projects under the public works department.

The Philippine and Chinese governments also agreed on the implementation of the MOU on tourism between the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.

Both countries also sealed an MOU between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Ministry of Commerce of China on electronic commerce cooperation; an MOU between the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and China’s International Development

Cooperation Agency on the Development Cooperation Plan 2023-2025; and an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between China and the Philippines.

The list also includes a mutual recognition agreement between the General Administration of Customs of China and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) of the Philippines on an authorized economic operator program, and an arrangement for the establishment of a communication mechanism on maritime issues between the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net

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