MANILA — The Philippines and China are projected to continue being the fastest growing countries in the world, bolstering trade links between the two countries in the next decades, said an economist.
Prof. Federico Macaranas, former chairman of Asian Institute of Management’s Department of Economics, said the growth momentum of Philippine and Chinese economies has already picked up and is expected to continue.
“China has been growing very fast before. It slowed down, but still among the fastest. The Philippines has been growing very fast for the past four, five years and it topped the region in ASEAN,” he said Thursday in an interview on the sidelines of China-Philippines dialogue.
In the long term, Macaranas said China’s very complex but innovative economy, together with ASEAN, can grow faster with the world.
He said robust economic growths are expected to strengthen relations between the Philippines and China, particularly in the area of trade.
“Agriculture definitely will be one because China needs our food, natural resources. But light manufacturing might move to ASEAN and therefore China will become more in need of high level where our Philippine engineers, technicians and scientists will help,” he noted during the dialogue.
“We have a fresh look at our relations because of President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s more open policy,” added Macaranas.
Ann Claire Credo-Cabochan, Director of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Bureau of International Trade Relations, said bilateral trade between the Philippines and China recorded an average year-on-year growth of 9.78 percent for the past five years.
In 2016, Cabochan said China was ranked as the Philippines’ second largest trading partner with total trade amounting to USD21.16 billion, the fourth export market and the first import supplier.
“We, in the DTI, continue to accord high importance in further enhancing trade and investment ties between the Philippines and China, whether through bilateral, regional or multilateral mechanisms in support of the current administration’s thrust towards stronger ties with our Asian neighbors,” she said. Leslie Gatpolintan/PNA-northboundasia.com