Ambassador Liu Jianchao delivers a speech at Joint Membership Meeting of Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines
2010/10/18
     On 11 October, 2010, Ambassador Liu Jianchao was invited to attend and address the Joint Membership Meeting of Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines.
           The full text of the speech is as follows:
 

MBC Chairman Romon Del Rosario,

MAP President Eusebio Tan,

My old and new friends,

Business leaders,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good afternoon!

 

Indeed, I feel greatly honored and privileged to stand here and share with you my humble viewpoints. I am fully aware who you are and what you are. When President Aquino said that the Philippines is ready to take off, I know that you are the powerful engines.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

In May last year, at a MAP general membership meeting, I talked on the theme of "Managing through Challenging Times". At that time, the whole world was caught in the quagmire of the financial crisis. Now, one year and five months passed, the world economy is on a bumpy road to a recovery. Last week, the International Monetary Fund predicted that global GDP should expand by 4.8% this year. But the underlying impact of the international financial crisis has not been fully eliminated, the world economy has yet to enter a benign cycle of steady growth, and systemic and structural risks are still prominent.

 

At this juncture, it is encouraging to see that the developing countries, including the Philippines and China, are doing a better job. Their stable growth has greatly boosted international confidence in overcoming the financial crisis and provided a strong impetus to the world economic growth. According to the Asian Development Bank, developing Asia can look ahead to a robust recovery in the next 2 years. Growth is forecast to rise by 8.2% in 2010 and moderate to a 7.3% growth in 2011, marking a healthy rebound from the 2009 slowdown. According to the special report of the Economist magazine, ten years ago, rich countries dominated the world economy, contributing around two-thirds of global GDP. Since then, that share has fallen to just over half. In another decade, it could be down to 40%. The bulk of global output will be produced in the emerging world.

 

The growth momentum in the Philippines is amazing. The GDP growth rate rose close to 8% in the first half of this year, and the export increased by 37.4% in the first seven months. The unemployment rate fell and the Stock Exchange index increased dramatically by over 30%. The prospect of the Philippine economy is inspiring from every angle.

 

In the case of China, the past two years have seen China emerge as one of the first countries to achieve an economic rebound and maintain steady and relatively fast economic development under extremely difficult and complex circumstances. The stimulus policy worked. The downward trend in economic growth was quickly reversed from the second quarter of 2009. The economy grew by 9.1% in 2009 and 11.1% in the first half of 2010. The year 2009 saw a rate of contribution of 50% by China to the world economy growth.

 

As the biggest developing country, China will continue to play a responsible and constructive role in the world affairs as well as Asian affairs. Harmony, never hegemony, is what we are seeking. China's development harms no one and threatens no one, and is never a cost to other countries, but rather an opportunity to them. China will remain a huge market, a source of investment, a helping hand and a peace maker.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As a member of the East Asian family, China persists in building a good-neighborly relationship and partnership with its neighbors. For years, China has been striving for mutual benefits and common prosperity with Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines included. This is witnessed by China's self-sacrifice determination and action in the 1997 Asia financial crisis. And it's further reflected in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreements (CAFTA) which was in place early this year. It has brought tremendous benefits to our ASEAN partners, including the Philippines.

 

Furthermore, China has set up China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund totaling US$ 10 billion to boost China-ASEAN cooperation. China has committed a package of US$15 billion in credit to ASEAN countries, US$ 6.7 billion of which are concessional loans. So far, China has committed US$ 1.8 billion in Preferential Buyer's Credit or concessional loans to the Philippines alone, funding projects like railways, irrigation and water supply facilities.

 

We are also willing to share China's successful stories and experience with our neighbors. Since 2007, 8,000 participants including government officials, technicians, scholars and corporate managers from South East Asian nations have been offered with various training opportunities in China.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

One year and seven months ago, I emphasized in a speech of mine that the Chinese government sees the China-Philippines relationship from a long term and strategic perspective. Our relationship is strong and we want to make it stronger. This is my mission which remains unchanged but rather enhanced.

 

With your new administration taking office, my colleagues and I have been in close contact with the economic team in the cabinet to explore the future cooperation opportunities. We have much to do together to exploit our economic complementarities. We are of the views that the business communities of our two countries shall cooperate strongly and effectively in the following areas.

 

Agriculture: By developing sophisticated agro technology, China is now feeding 20% of the world's population with only 10% of the world's arable land. The Philippines is endowed with abundant fertile land and nourishing sunshine, which is perfect for agriculture. China is willing to import more agricultural produce from the Philippines, share our experiences in agriculture development and make joint efforts in fostering high-yield hybrid rice and corn. Working together, we will be able to generate jobs, harvest crops and fruits, reduce hunger, increase people's income and achieve self-sufficiency of food.

 

Infrastructure: This is indeed an area where the Philippines needs and China excels. As you may be aware, by the end of 2009, expressway mileage in China reached 65,000 kilometers, and the operating railway mileage reached 86,000 kilometers, respectively ranking the first and the 2nd in the world. By 2012, 13,000 kilometers of high-speed railway will be in operation, which means travelling between any two of the 42 major cities in the vast stretch of land of China takes no more than 8 hours. A week ago, the speed of the test run of such a train from Hangzhou to Shanghai reached 416 km/h, breaking China's and the world record. We are willing to share our experience in constructing modern infrastructure with the Philippines and strengthen cooperation in the field of infrastructure, contributing to the economic development and investment environment in this country.

 

Renewable energy: China is dedicated to tackling climate change. Take wind power for example, China installed 13,000 Megawatts wind turbine in 2009, accounting for 1/3 of global installment and it also marks more than 100% annual growth for 5 consecutive years. Against the background that climate change becomes a daunting task of mankind and power shortage and high power rate become major issues in the Philippines, the Chinese Government gives its full support to Chinese companies that engage themselves in constructing hydropower dams, biomass power plants, wind turbines and solar panels, not only to supply sustainable energy, but also give our next generation a blue sky.

 

Mining: The Philippines is home to massive reserve of minerals. But gold is of no value if it lies in the earth. Brilliant policy makers and businessmen shall make use of this opportunity to turn natural resources into national wealth. The Chinese companies are willing to cooperate not only in mining, but also in minerals processing, which can provide employment opportunities for the people and add tax revenues to the government.

 

Tourism: Last year, more than 220,000 tourists from the Chinese mainland visited the Philippines, registering a nearly 40% growth over the year of 2008. However, if we get to know that over 50 million tourists from the Chinese mainland traveled abroad last year, there is a potential for more Chinese tourists to come. I believe that the Philippine Government will take measures to convince the tourists from China including Hong Kong that this is a safe country to travel to, and when they are here, they will be well protected.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

True cooperation requires sustained efforts, and more importantly, requires friends who will listen to each other, understand each other and, most of all, trust each other. The Philippine government and the people are now committed to fostering sustainable development, eradicating poverty and improving the livelihood of the people. China wants to be part of the process.

 

Dear friends, rest assured that when you are taking off, China is there to add power to your wings.

 

Good luck to the Philippines.

 

Thank you and Mabuhay!

 
 
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