Ambassador Liu Jianchao Delivers a Speech at the "Mining Philippines 2011 Conference and Exhibition"
2011/09/19
 
    On 14 September, Ambassador Liu Jianchao was invited to deliver a speech at the "Mining Philippines 2011 Conference and Exhibition" held by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines in Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila.
      The full text of the speech is as follows:
 

   Honorable Secretary Ramon Paje Jr.,

   Ambassador Roberto Mayorga,

   CMP President Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez,

   Ladies and Gentlemen, 

          Good morning! It's my great honor and pleasure to be here today. I'd like to thank Mr. Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez for inviting me to this great Conference and Exhibition. I am going to share with you the fruitful state visit of President Benigno S. Aquino to China and the potentials of mining cooperation between China and the Philippines.

         Just two weeks ago, H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino made his first-ever state visit to China. I was happy that I have the honor to accompany the delegation. The visit turned out to be a successful and fruitful one, another milestone witnessing the growing strategic and cooperative relationship between China and the Philippines, and another refreshed opportunity to open up even broader vista for us to advance a kinship and friendship, which have been bringing benefits to our two peoples.

The leaders from our two countries shared a positive assessment of the development of China-Philippines ties during the past 36 years and reiterated the commitment to secure a long-term and stable relationship of strategic cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The leaders also witnessed the signing of various agreements, aiming to boost bilateral cooperation in such fields as trade, economic and technical cooperation, tourism, nautical connectivity, media, sports, culture and information. 

As the global economic recovery is still weathering some difficulties, the emerging and developing economies, China and the Philippines alike, have our due roles to play. It would be of practicability and importance for our two countries to strengthen and broaden economic and trade cooperation so as to fend off negative impact and carry forward the global efforts to shake off economic slowdown. That's why we've seen the China-Philippines Five-Year Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation (2012-2016) signed under the witness of our leaders in Beijing, chalking out a blueprint for our future cooperation in agriculture and fishery, infrastructure development, mining, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), processing and manufacturing, tourism, engineering services and forestry. 

Furthermore, our two countries agreed to expand the volume of China-Philippines trade and a target was set to raise the total two-way trade to US$ 60 billion by 2016. Trade structure would be optimized, exchanged of investments would be promoted, and potential for cooperation would be tapped in the fields of, among others, new and renewable energy, shipping and ports. Ministry of Commerce of China is to send an investment adviser to work at the China Desk of the Board of Investment (BOI) of the Philippines with the primary purpose of bringing in more investment from China to this country. The two sides also discussed the establishment of a nautical highway, which will infuse new energy to bilateral trade and economic activities between our two countries and also help enhance the connectivity between China and its ASEAN neighbors. 

As I've said for many times, if the Philippines is to take off economically, China would add strength to its wings. During the visit, China affirmed its support for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program of the Philippine government and committed to encourage Chinese companies to participate in the competitive bidding processes of the program. At the same time, China will, as always, continue to provide development assistance to various economic, agricultural and infrastructure projects in the Philippines. 

H.E. President Aquino attended three economic and trade forums all the way through his trip in China, respectively in Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen. This is really unprecedented. I personally have been present at all forums. I saw the heated interaction among the Chinese and Philippine business circles and felt the vibrant future of mutually beneficial cooperation in economy and trade between our two countries being unfolded in a promising way. The forums turned out to be constructive and productive. I sincerely hope that all the plans made and agreements inked would be materialized soon into concrete achievements and tangible benefits for our two peoples. 

It's more than encouraging to know that the leaders declared 2012 and 2013 as "China-Philippines Years of Friendly Exchanges" and agreed to double the two-way tourist arrivals between our two countries to two million by 2016. They also expressed optimism that an expansion of capacity entitlements in air services will contribute to the attainment of this goal.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

China is on the expressway of modernization drive. To meet the demand of its rapid economic growth, we need to utilize both domestic and foreign mineral resources. But as the biggest developing country, we rely mainly on ourselves to safeguard the resources supply. And we are also open to international cooperation. We stand ready to cooperate with all other countries on an equal footing to help formulate a more reasonable mineral exploration and development structure, a more stable mineral trade structure and a more reasonable resource allocation structure in the world. We believe that with foreign mining enterprises entering into China and Chinese enterprises going overseas, the resources complementarity between different countries can be realized, which is conducive to the common prosperity and healthy development of mineral industry of the world. We are of the view that mineral industry should make more contributions to the developing countries in their efforts of relieving poverty and improving people's livelihood. Mining enterprises need to shoulder their social responsibilities through protecting the local natural environment, safeguarding the employees' interest, participating in the local community development.

Bilaterally speaking, mining is among one of the important areas for China-Philippines mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation which witnessed smooth development in recent years. Bilateral trade amounted to 27.7 billion US dollars last year. According to the statistics of the Philippine side, China is the third largest trade partner of the Philippines. Philippines' export to China amounts 5.7 billion US dolloars, registered a growth of 94.3%, while the Philippines import from China increased by 21% to 4.6 billion USD in 2010. If trade with mainland China and Hong Kong SAR are combined together, China is the largest export destination of the Philippines, accounting for nearly 20% of the total.

Mineral trade is an important part of the whole picture. The Philippines has already become important supplier to the Chinese market for some minerals. According to the statistics of Chinese customs, nickel ore import from the Philippines accounts for more than one third of China's total import. The Philippines is home to massive reserve of minerals, especially in nickel, copper, gold and chrome. It's a huge wealth endowed by the nature, but gold is of no value if it lies in the earth. Mineral exploration and development can be an industry within which our two countries have huge complementarities and cooperation potentials. With abundant capital, advanced technology and rich experience in management, Chinese mining enterprises could be natural partners for the Philippine counterparts. Chinese companies are willing to cooperate not only in mining exploration, but also in minerals processing. Their cooperation will on the one hand, provides employment opportunities for the Philippine people and adds tax revenues to the government, and on the other hand, provides necessary mineral resources for the Chinese market. It's a mutual beneficial undertaking. I believe the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines can play a very important role in promoting and materializing mining cooperation between mining companies of our two countries for the benefits of our two countries and our two peoples.  

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Mr. President's visit to China just completed a very important step on a long journey of common development and shared prosperity between our two countries. This step was fine and firm. What I could promise here today is that, on this road, the Philippines would never be alone. China would be always by your side. The steps in the future would be marked by both Chinese and Philippine efforts. What we are going to share would be successes coming one after another. 

Thank you and Mabuhay!

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