China, PH seen to set aside disputes to improve trade
By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 16, 2015 at 8:01 am

MANILA, Philippines–Despite the ongoing territorial disputes, the Philippines and China are initiating new programs and activities this year to further enhance tourism, trade, investments and cooperation between the two countries.

According to the foreign trade office of the Department of Trade and Industry in Beijing, both the Philippines and China are working to “deepen industry cooperation” in a number of sectors that include automotive, electric vehicles, iron and steel, renewable energy including solar energy, and other related manufacturing sectors.

There are also plans to bring the China-Asean Business Council trade and investment delegation to the Philippines; embark on a trade city project for building materials industry cooperation; and to stage an investment conference to promote and highlight the new competitive advantage of manufacturing in the Philippines, following the country’s inclusion under the European Union’s new generalized scheme of preferences (GSP+).

The target would focus on sectors facing export challenges to Europe.

The Philippines is the only Asean country to be included in the GSP+ scheme, which will enable local enterprises to export over 6,200 product lines to the European Union at zero duties.

China is considered a significant trading partner, being the third-largest export market of the Philippines as of end-January this year.

China accounted for about 10.2 percent (equivalent to $445.35 million) of the country’s total exports during the same period, government data showed.

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