By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
SINGAPORE–China is looking for vast tracts of land in the Philippines where it can develop industrial parks, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday.
Lopez made the statement ahead of the scheduled visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Philippines next week.
In an interview here, Lopez said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the industrial park is one of the documents that will be signed between the Philippines and China during Xi’s visit.
Lopez, however, failed to disclose further details, noting that consultations with the Chinese side are still taking place.
“Angalamkomeron (I know there’s one) on industrial park. Some companies also – actually may isa ring interested pa makahabol (there’s still one more party interested), possibly an iron and steel manufacturing,” he said.
“But it’s not yet cleared, eh, with the Chinese side. So parang may (It appears that there is still an) ongoing consultation pa. But angalamkongkasamana (But what I know for sure) is that MOU on industrial park,” he added.
“Nag-i-spot nalangsilang location–saan ilalagay ‘yungmga (they are now looking for locations where they can build these) industrial parks. [It’s] Open to the entire country,” he said.
“They’re looking into township. That’s why they require vast tracts of land, eh. So instead of the usual 200 hectares for their manufacturing, they would even require even more than 1,000 hectares,” he added.
“So doon minsan nagtatagalan. Ano’ng lugar sa atin ang pwede pang maka-offer ng mga ganoong kalalaking lugar nasinasabi nila malapit sa port, or at least pwedeng mag-develop ng port (So that’s what’s causing the slow progress. Where in the Philippines can we find such land that is also near a port, or a place where they can at least develop a port)?” he continued.
Lopez said that Chinese property developer Country Garden already has a small team in the Philippines to do feasibility and market studies.
The upcoming visit of President Xi Jinping to Manila is expected to position the China-Philippines relations “as a new model of international relations,” Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said Thursday.
Xi will travel to Manila on November 20 for a historical state visit, which is a first of its kind by a Chinese head of state since 2005.
“We have every reason to believe that this visit will enormously boost China-Philippines relations in the new era, position our relations as a new model of international relations and further contribute to the building of a community of shared future for mankind,” the envoy wrote in an article sent to the media.
“Standing at a new and crucial historical juncture, China and the Philippines are bound to build stronger strategic mutual trust, perform deeper economic cooperation and trade, and nurture closer people-to-people exchanges,” he added. (With PNA)