By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said it is “trade as usual” with China despite the outbreak of the deadly corona virus that has locked down some areas in China to prevent global contagion although there could be impact on exports as demand for consumer goods may be affected as this will depend on consumer behavior.
“Despite the extra precaution, it is business or trade as usual with China,” said Lopez after meeting with the food sector if there is an effect on their raw materials. But if demand from China will slowdown, then it may affect the country’s exports. China is one of the country’s major trade partners.
Lopez also met with company purchasers in the manufacturing sector and said the materials from China would not affect their operations because the virus cannot be transmitted through their materials. What they are more careful is the people to people contact.
The Philippines will also push through with the China International Fair for Investment and Trade scheduled on September 8-11 in Xiamen where the Philippines is targeting to gather at least 100 participants from big Philippine firms. The Philippines has been designated as a country of honor in the September fair in Xiamen.
“We are not cancelling because we’ve committed last year and we give our support to this,” he said.
In addition, the Philippines will also participate in the annual CAEXPO in November this year in Nanning.
Unlike the ASF which is transferrable through food, the corona virus cannot be transmitted through food but Lopez said it is advisable to be careful with food, especially raw food.
“Participants are not concerned but there are suggested protocols on entertaining incoming missions,” he said.
Likewise, the commercial attaches of the DTI stationed in different parts in China and Korea are still in the country because of the two-week New Year break in China. But they will be going back after the holiday season.
In addition, there has been no outgoing or incoming trade or investment missions scheduled in the immediate term so there are no cancellations of business meetings.