On August 31, 2011, Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Qishan and Philippine President Aquino jointly attended the Philippines-China Economic and Trade Forum in Beijing.
On behalf of the Chinese government, Wang extended warm welcome to all the guests present at the Forum. He said that the personal participation of Aquino in the Forum fully reflects his commitment to China-Philippines pragmatic cooperation. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 36 years ago, China and the Philippines have conducted fruitful cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, investment, energy and tourism. In 2010, the bilateral trade volume reached US$27.7 billion, growing by 35% over the previous year and China became the Philippines' third largest trade partner. The bilateral cooperation has brought about tangible benefits to the two peoples. The progress of China-ASEAN free trade area construction and the implementation of China's 12th Five-Year Plan and the Philippines' Public-Private Partnership Program have created new opportunities for the bilateral cooperation. The two sides should wholeheartedly implement the Five-Year Development Plan of China-Philippines Economic and Trade Cooperation to be signed soon, further tap the cooperation potential, expand the bilateral trade, optimize the structure of imports and exports and try to raise the bilateral trade volume to US$60 billion by 2016. China encourages competitive domestic businesses to invest in the Philippines and take part in the Philippines' infrastructure construction. Continuous efforts will be made to step up the bilateral communication and coordination on such multilateral platforms as the 10+1 and 10+3 and promote the process of regional economic integration. The Chinese government is willing to work with the Philippine government to build an enabling environment for the bilateral business cooperation. Entrepreneurs are expected to seize the opportunity of the Forum to deepen cooperation and jointly open a new chapter of China-Philippines economic and trade cooperation.
Addressing the Forum, Aquino noted that the Philippines looks forward to further developing the partnership and economic and trade cooperation with China. He said that the ASEAN Economic Community will be formed in 2015 and to strengthen cooperation with the Philippines means the northern gateway to the region will be further opened to China. The Philippines is definitely open for business. The Philippine government will take steps to encourage the entry of investments in the country, make the registration a lot more convenient for foreign businesses, harmonize local statutes, create a stable, transparent and fair business environment and build investor confidence. It will always take a long-term view in order to achieve lasting progress of the country and the Chinese entrepreneurs always know the value of taking the long-term view. He hopes Chinese businesses seize the opportunities to expand investment in the Philippines, especially the strategic investment in tourism, agriculture and infrastructure. The ties between the Philippines and China can be dated back to centuries ago and the partnership between the two countries will become stronger than ever. Closer economic and trade cooperation will provide benefits to the two peoples.
Prior to attending the Forum, Wang and Aquino held a briefing meeting.