On March 7, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan paid an official call on the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Dutere at the capital city Manila.
Zhong firstly delivered President Xi Jinping's and Premier Li Keqiang's cordial greetings and best wishes to President Duterte.
Zhong said that after taking office, the major tasks for which he led the trade and economic delegation of the Chinese government to visit the Philippines are to implement important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries on developing China-Philippines trade and economic cooperation since President Duterte visited China last October, to make preparation for the Vice Premier Wang Yang's visit to the Philippines next week, to restart the China-Philippines Joint Committee of Trade and Economy, to promote the China-Philippine trade and economic cooperation and to support the Philippines to develop economy and improve livelihood.
Zhong pointed out that China and the Philippines enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. The China-Philippines relationship has been comprehensively improved, since the successful visit of the President Duterte to China last October. President Xi Jinping and President Duterte reached extensive consensuses on insisting on good-neighborly relationship, properly dealing with differences and jointing hands to seek common development. This is of great significance to the regional stability and development. At present, China and the Philippines have strong complementarity in the economy. In 2016, China's economy maintained a stable and rapid development and the economic growth of the Philippines ranked the first among the ASEAN countries. The enterprises of the two countries have a strong enthusiasm to cooperate and the mutual benefit and win-win result have a huge development space.
Zhong emphasized that the 28th Conference of China-Philippines Joint Committee of Trade and Economy held in the morning achieved a complete success and obtained a series of important achievements. Both sides agreed to sign the Six-Year Development Plan of China-Philippine Trade and Economic Cooperation as soon as possible. China is willing to import more agricultural products from the Philippines and positively considers to cooperate with the Philippines to build industrial parks.
Zhong said that next, both sides can positively promote the Belt and Road cooperative initiative and dock with the development plan of the "Philippine Aspiration 2040", and focus on promoting the implementation of infrastructure cooperation projects of the two countries. China will positively promote to carry out and develop assistance cooperation in the fields of livelihood in the Philippines, encourage Chinese enterprises to positively participate in the infrastructure construction and livelihood improvement, strengthen the cooperation with the Philippines under the multilateral system, support the Philippines holding the post of rotating chairman of the ASEAN, deepen the construction of China-ASEAN FTA, and play a constructive role in jointly promoting the early end of the RCEP.
Zhong expresses gratitude that President Duterte accepted President Xi's invitation to attend the Forum on International Cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing in May.
President Duterte said that China is a friend and a brother of the Philippines. Zhong's visit fully embodies China's high attention to implementing the consensuses of the heads of the two countries and promoting the China-Philippines trade and economic cooperation. The Philippines expressed thanks for China's help and support.
Chinese Ambassador in the Philippines Zhao Jianhua accompanied Zhong to attend the activity.