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PH, China set to sign $1.5-b agri trade deal

The Philippines and China will sign Wednesday a $1.5-billion trade deal that will significantly increase China’s agriculture imports from the Philippines.

China Vice Premier Wang Yang will sign the agreement with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, said Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman emeritus Francis Chua.

“No less than the vice premier will sign the agreement. We will continue to push for increased trade between our two countries as strengthen out bilateral ties,” he said Monday.

The Trade Department earlier discussed the forthcoming trade deal in a statement.

Chua said China would be importing several agricultural products, including fisheries, poultry and dairy items.

He added the deal to buy Philippine agricultural products was part of a series of agreements to be signed by both countries as they deepen mutual economic relations.

China and the Philippines earlier signed a loan facility worth $3.4 billion to help the Philippines fund major infrastructure projects—a $53.9-million irrigation project; $374-million dam project; and the $3-billion railway project.

The infrastructure projects, Chua said, were important components in building a stronger nation and an economy resilient to the global uncertainties.

The first two projects are estimated to be ready for signing within the first half of 2017, while the railway project will be formalized by the end of 2017.

Potential investments from China may reach $10.4 billion from various sectors, such as aviation, energy and shipbuilding.

The projects are expected to contribute about 11,500 new jobs to the Filipino workforce.

China is also pushing the empowerment of the micro, small and medium enterprises  with a program that will enable Chinese MSMEs to partner with their Filipino counterparts.

Topics: Philippines , China , agriculture trade deal
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