China’s investments in the Philippines now P15.6 billion
MANILA – Amid the controversies surrounding the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said breakthroughs have been made in investments made by Chinese enterprises.
Speaking at the Forum on China-Philippines Cooperation Development in the Post-COVID-19 Era earlier today, Ambassador Huang said China Telecom partnered with DITO, a major telecom project, launched commercial services in select areas and expected to expand its services to Metro Manila this month.
“Panhua Group’s Integrated Steel Mill project, with an investment of US$3.5 billion in Phase 1, is under construction, and is supported to be the first integrated steel mill in the Philippines once completed. Notable Chinese investments have also flowed into the advanced manufacturing sector of the Philippines, such as the high-end bearing factory operated by C&U Group and the electronic components factories established by Shenzhen Grandsun and Guangzhou Bocheng,” he said.
Speaking of Government-to-Government cooperation projects, Ambassador Huang said there are more than 30 projects carried out during President Duterte’s administration. He said 12 projects with a total value of US$100 million, which include the Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment Rehabilitation Centers and the COVID-19 Vaccine Donation Project have been launched and completed.
He added aside from the China-aided Two Bridges Project in Manila the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology-Technical Cooperation Program Phase III and the Chico River Pump Irrigation project will be completed this year.
A US$400 project Safe Philippines Project Phase I will be covered by a loan up for signing soon to be followed by the ground-breaking rites. He added there are four major infrastructure projects worth US$2.3 billion which include the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project, and projects in the pipeline worth billions of dollars are being reviewed by the Philippines which will pave the way for the bidding process.
“As the largest shareholder, China has supported the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in approving nearly US$1.3 billion loans to the Philippines for infrastructure improvement and COVID-19 response,” he added
Ambassador Huang added China, as a major shareholder with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), granted financing to the Philippines with US$26.5 billion to conduct projects in education, health care, infrastructure, among others.
“China has also joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide financial assistance to the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific countries within the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund,” he said.
Ambassador Huang said during the past five years, with the commitment to peace and friendship, the relations has continuously deepened pragmatic cooperation and properly handled maritime disputes, and reaped tangible benefits to both the Chinese and Filipino peoples.
“Over the past year, we have fought against the pandemic together and pushed forward the practical cooperation against headwinds,” he said. The Chinese ambassador said all the headwinds would make Filipinos know “who their real friends and reliable partners are.”
“I also believe that, as long as we make concerted efforts, the post-pandemic bilateral relations will release more potentials and achieve greater results.For this common goal, we hope the attendees today could actively contribute your advice and wisdom to this forum and then shed light on our future development,” he concluded.(Melo M. Acuña)
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian. (Facebook Photo)