Arroyo to unclog China deal jams | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Reference:
Bordey, H. (2019, April 24). Arroyo to unclog China deal jams. Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor. Retrieved April 24, 2019 from https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2019/04/24/arroyo-to-unclog-china-deal-jams/

Arroyo to unclog China deal jams
By Hananeel Bordey – April 24, 2019 12:05 AM

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday vowed to remove the “bottlenecks” that obstruct the implementation of China-funded projects in the Philippines to ensure the country’s unimpeded economic growth.

Arroyo made the commitment during the plenary session of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Manila Conference on Tuesday.

The former President, during her keynote speech in the first ever BFA forum held in the Philippines, pointed out that Philippines-China cooperation should focus on the implementation of the trade agreements and investments.

“The Philippines has to exert maximum effort to remove on-the-ground bottlenecks that impede the implementation of projects that involve trade and investment groups from China,” Arroyo said.

She disclosed that the Philippine side has discussed the intricacies of foreign investment restrictions under local laws with Vice Chairman Zhou Xiaochuan and Secretary General Li Baodong.

Arroyo also revealed brokering a meeting between Filipino and Chinese businessmen eyeing to further advance technology in the country. But Chinese investors, she said, have expressed concerns on the Philippine regulations on foreign investments.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. explained that the business plans prepared by the Chinese investors did not consider restrictions applied under Philippine policies.

“We hope that is the way your business plans will also end up. Welcome without restrictions. We in the Philippines want to match your enthusiasm and this is what this forum is all about,” Arroyo said.

The former Chief Executive, who initiated the forum in the Philippines, said she hopes the Boao Forum in Manila will be an open ground for insights on globalization and free trade that will result to concerted action for common development in the new era.

“This is where the Belt and Road Initiative comes in to provide brick-and-mortar infrastructure without which international trade and investments cannot operate. China’s Belt and Road is a very tangible manifestation of concerted action,” she explained.

We have truly gone a long way since this initiative was launched more than two decades ago, and the Philippines remains as committed as ever in making a difference in our regional and global economy.

The House leader also said the projects could help alleviate poverty by following China’s steps.

“The Philippines is now poised to achieve a reduction of poverty incidence from the 39 percent level that I inherited when I assumed the presidency in 2001, down to 14 percent by the time our current President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s term ends in 2022. From 39 percent to 14 percent in just two decades of good economy, policy formulation and implementation,” she said.

“If we do as well in the following two decades after that, the Philippines might very well enjoy its own 40 golden years of take-off to prosperity, just as China had its 40 golden years of progress from the time of its opening to the world in 1978 to its eminent position today,” she added.

On Monday night, Li acknowledged the big steps the Philippines took in investing for the “Build, Build, Build” program.

He said economic expenditures by the Philippine government for infrastructure will make more opportunities for the country, adding that this development is a reflection of growth in Asia.

“We hope that this conference can produce pragmatic results and play an active role in promoting exchanges and cooperation between the Philippines and China and other countries,” Li said.

Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) honorary president and BFA Manila Conference chair Domingo Yap also shared his vision that, through this forum, the Philippines will be a “game-changer” not only in Asia but in the world.

Representing President Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea recognized the BFA as an instrumental conference in “charting the course” of the Philippine economy.

The Philippines has to exert maximum effort to remove on-the-ground bottlenecks that impede the implementation of projects that involve trade and investment groups from China.

“We have truly gone a long way since this initiative was launched more than two decades ago, and the Philippines remains as committed as ever in making a difference in our regional and global economy,” Medialdea said.

He said that holding the conference here in Manila is a welcome development that reflects the international community’s growing support and confidence in Philippines-China relations and East Asian regional cooperation.

“The Philippines is hopeful that as we bring the Boao Forum to Manila, we can further build on previous discussions with our partners, so we may forge deeper consensus as we strengthen regional cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative,” he added.

Medialdea said the government will assess the progress achieved in the implementation of the initiatives, especially in the areas of infrastructure, energy, trade and investments, science and technology and environmental protection.

He also emphasized that multilateral cooperation and economic development should always be inclusive.

“It must always benefit the greater majority, especially the poor and the marginalized. Our respective countries should therefore work even harder in order to achieve meaningful growth — growth that is felt by ordinary people, only when economic progress affects the lives of every person can we claim genuine progress,” he said.

Published in Headlines | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

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