Strong PH-China trade ties promote recovery from pandemic

Published May 15, 2021, 4:32 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The strong economic cooperation between the Philippines and China has generated “great rewards” for both nations to propel towards economic recovery during the pandemic, according to a Chinese diplomat.

President Rodrigo Duterte discusses matters with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian following the ceremonial turnover of the CoronaVac vaccine doses at the Bulwagang Kalayaan in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on March 29, 2021. (Malacañang)

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian recently lauded the “resilient” trading ties of the two neighbors after China became the top export destination of the Philippines last March.

The Philippines’ exports grew $6.68 billion in March 2021, up by 31 percent from $5.08 billion in the previous month. China became the leading buyer of Philippine goods in March with $1.07 billion receipts, or 16 percent to the total exports during the month.

“As resilient trading partners in the face of the pandemic, the Philippines’ solid recovery is a clear sign that our relationship consistently reaps great rewards for both countries,” the ambassador said in a recent Facebook post.

“It’s reassuring to know that our cooperation and strong ties lead to progress from the pandemic, and together we will surely bounce back!” he said.

The ambassador also hailed the growth in Philippine exports, saying it was a sign of economic recovery.

“Glad to hear the good news of the post-pandemic economic rebound in Philippine exports. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, exports grew by 31% as of March this year. This was a tremendous rebound from last year’s and is an excellent indication of economic recovery!” he said.

“China rose as the Philippines’ top destination, with 16% of the total merchandise exported to China,” he added.

Earlier, the ambassador welcomed reports that China-Philippines trade continue to thrive after bilateral trade jumped to $16.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021 despite the pandemic. The trade volume is 25.6 percent higher from the same period last year.

The ambassador noted that more Chinese investors are interested to do business in the Philippines. “Such developmental partnership would help promote the Philippines’ post-pandemic recovery,” he said.

President Duterte earlier recognized China as a good friend and benefactor of the Philippines, saying it owed a huge of debt of gratitude to the Asian giant especially for the coronavirus vaccines donated to the nation. Duterte, however, ruled out forging a compromise on the West Philippine Sea, saying he would not pull out the local ships in the area.

The two countries remained locked in a dispute over the West Philippine Sea. Recently, tension escalated after Manila protested the lingering presence of Chinese vessels within its local waters.