China is considering building an industrial park in the Philippines, promising to boost the local manufacturing sector and create more jobs as bilateral ties improve, according to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua.
“In the Asean, we have already built eight Industrial parks but we haven’t built any in the Philippines yet,” the ambassador said his speech during an investment forum on Friday.
“We will work with Philippine authorities and explore the possibility of setting up an industrial park here. This is to help boost the local manufacturing sector and create more jobs.”
China’s interest in setting up an industrial park in the Philippines comes as cooperation between the two countries improve under the Duterte administration. President Duterte pursues a softer approach in resolving territorial disputes that have previously strained the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry chair emeritus Francis T. Chua, at the sidelines of the forum, said San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang had expressed interest in partnering with the government for the industrial park.
“He said they (investors) could choose if they want set it up in the North or in the South,” Chua said, citing a source in the Department of Trade and Industry.
Ang has not responded to request for confirmation as of press time. He was part of the business delegation that accompanied Duterte in his visit to China.
In the meantime, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong is set to visit the Philippines next month, following the visit of the new commerce minister of China, Zhong Shan.
This is according to Jose Sta. Romana, the country’s ambassador to China, who said “the new commerce minister will come and the talks would proceed on the Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation.”
“The Chinese vice premier would come in Mid-March. The President (Duterte), I think, is invited to go to China for the 1 belt 1 road in May,” he said.