PHL just “breaking too much dependence” from US, says trade chief

MANILA — Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said President Rodrigo Duterte, in his recent statement on veering away from the United States, would only like to break from “too much dependence” on the western country.

“President’s statement means just maintaining the relationship and just breaking too much dependence on one side,” Lopez told reporters in a text message.

“(We are) friends to all. But trade and investment cooperation continues,” added the Cabinet member who joined President Duterte in his state visit to China.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has also released a statement of the country’s economic team Friday.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his Cabinet will move strongly and swiftly towards regional economic re-balancing for closer integration in Asia,” the statement read.

“We will maintain relations with the West, but we desire stronger integration with our neighbors. We share the oriental culture conducive to better understanding with our regional partners,” the economic team said. Kris Crismundo/