China and Philippines sign six agreements

Out-Law News | 09 Sep 2019 | 10:49 am | 1 min. read

China and the Philippines are to cooperate more closely in areas such as higher education, science and technology and customs under the terms of six bilateral agreements signed by both countries.

The six agreements include two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), one on higher education cooperation between the Ministry of Education of China and the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines, with the other on science and technology cooperation between China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines.

In addition, a cooperative arrangement was entered into between China’s General Administration of Customs and the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement regarding cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters. An implementation contract on the China-aided container inspection equipment project also has signed by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and BOC.

The Department of Finance of the Philippines signed an agreement on Exchange of Notes on Cooperation Procedure for the availment and utilisation of concessional loans under a Renminbi-denominated loan facility with China International Development Cooperation Agency, while a preferential buyer’s credit loan agreement relating to project management consultancy of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul Project was signed with the Export-Import Bank of China.

According to Xinhua, Chinese president Xi Jinping said that "it's necessary to promote the synergy between the belt and road initiative and the Philippine 'build, build, build' program". Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines hopes for China'shelp in aspects of economy and infrastructure construction.

The Philippines has accelerated its plans to develop the country's infrastructurein recent years. Early in April 2017, the Philippine government launched the "build, build, build" (BBB) infrastructure development programme. It aims to raise public spending on infrastructure to 7% of gross domestic product by 2022 from less than 2% 10 years ago. In total, it is estimated that $180bn will be required to support the BBB programme.

Recently, the Philippines began a series of plans for the expansion of transportation infrastructure. It signed a $1.3 billion loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the financing of the Malolos-Clark railway project in July. A plan to build a new airport has also been approved, with the project valued at PhP735.6 billion ($14.12bn).

China's investments in the Philippines reached 48.7 billion pesos ($930 million) in 2018, making China the Philippines' top foreign investor, Xinhua reported.