First of 2 parts
MAGNIFICENT events in Filipino-Chinese relations, captured in exceptionally beautiful photographs, were unveiled at the Federation of Chinese Philippine Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) building in Muelle de Binondo, Binondo , Manila, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. To say the event was a ribbon cutting of a photo exhibit would be an understatement. Best to call it a historical climax in which the milestones of the Philippines’ ever-growing friendly relations with China have been documented inscrutably for all posterity.
Why, in fact, why the occasion deserved the presence of a coterie of guests who are celebrities in their own right: Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, Senators Imee Marcos and Cynthia Villar, Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways Roger “Oging” Mercado, the Secretary to the Vice President of the Climate Change Commission, Robert Borje, and the tireless Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, President of the FFCCCII.
FFCCCII is the umbrella federation of more than 170 Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and various business organizations nationwide, from Aparri to Tawi-Tawi, which focuses on progressive economic and socio-civic advocacy. One of these pleas of the FFCCCII is the promotion of exports of Philippine products to all countries of the world with its “Buy Pinoy” project. In his speech, Dr Lim said the Philippines should leverage good diplomatic relations with Beijing to aggressively compete with Asian and Asian neighbors like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea by exploiting the world’s largest and increasingly affluent consumer market of 1.4. billion people of China by exporting more Filipino products and agricultural products. He also urged the Philippines to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and technological cooperation while attracting more Chinese tourists. Lim’s hybrid rice technology, which helps rural Filipino rice farmers, is an example of successful technology cooperation between the Philippines and China. Dr Lim also backed Commerce Secretary Ramon “Mon” Lopez’s call for the Philippine Senate to quickly ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is the world’s largest free trade agreement encompassing all 10 countries. from ASEAN, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Lim agrees with Lopez that RCEP will benefit Filipino businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that can export more products and services to China. Dr. Lim said RCEP ratification would not only benefit Filipino SMEs, but could make the Philippines more attractive to foreign investors wishing to do business and establish factories here.
Senators Marcos and Villar support the independent foreign policy of the Philippines of being friends with all the major powers of the world, especially in expanding and strengthening mutually beneficial economic opportunities such as in Philippine exports, increased investment and cooperation technological. Senator Marcos cited the pioneering effort of her father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, in establishing diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1975, while Senator Villar noted that her son, the Former DPWH Secretary Mark Villar had successfully spearheaded the implementation. of various Philippines-China infrastructure projects like the new Binondo-Intramuros Bridge donated by China in Manila City, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge inaugurated by China in 2021 in Makati City and other infrastructure projects launched by the Duterte administration with Chinese funds and technological aid.