China infra pledges first in line for implementation

 

INVESTMENT pledges the Philippines secured from China during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s state visit to Beijing last month may soon be implemented after government officials met with Chinese authorities last week.

According to a statement e-mailed to reporters over the weekend, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Domiguez III, Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar and Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano held detailed discussions last week with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Deputy Chairman Ning Jizhe regarding several of the pledges, particularly those involving investment cooperation and transport infrastructure, which are covered in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the Philippines concluded with China.

The MoUs were signed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation.

“On our side we have the One-Road, One-Belt Initiative by President Xi Jinping and we hope that both sides can encourage these plans and encourage Chinese business to invest in the Philippines,” Mr. Ning was quoted as saying in a statement.

The agreements are formally known as a “Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China on Transportation Infrastructure Cooperation Project List.”; and

A “Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Strengthening Bilateral Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation.”

“I think this afternoon we have laid the groundwork on moving ahead and we should continue this dialogue with specific projects in mind,” Mr. Dominguez was quoted saying in a statement.

The secretary of the Department of Finance is set to submit to the Chinese embassy a list of proposed projects on Dec. 1.

Mr. Dominguez has said that he hopes for Chinese assistance in developing land and sea infrastructure, energy, irrigation and flood control projects.

The economic officials and Mr. Ning have agreed to discuss the projects in an investor conference in 2017.

Meanwhile, Mr. Villar, the secretary of the DPWH, had expressed the department’s intention to study Chinese methods deemed suitable for infrastructure building in the Philippines.

“The DPWH is very excited that China is so willing to share their technical expertise with us and that China will provide capacity building,” Mr. Villar was quoted saying in a statement.

“There are no major high-speed highways in Luzon and the Visayas and that’s something we can work with your country to improve together,” he added.

The NDRC Deputy Chairman responded to Mr. Villar that China “can provide an enabling environment to carry out cooperation and share the experience on how to further develop infrastructure.” — Janine Marie D. Soliman

Business World | November 21, 2016
http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=china-infra-pledges-first-in-line-for-implementation&id=136610