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PIA Press Release
2008/08/07

PGMA leaves for China today for a 3-day visit with 11-man official party

Manila (7 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leaves for a three-day working visit to China at 5:30 a.m. today with an 11-man official delegation, said to be the "leanest" in all her foreign trips, according to Press Secretary Jesus G. Dureza.

"It's a very short trip," Dureza said. "Almost balikan lamang."

"Pero ang napakahalaga, aside from the fact that we will show iyong world-class excellence of our Filipino athletes. And this is embodied by Manny Pacquaio, world champion ay nandoon."

He said the trip will be an opportunity for the President to hold a bilateral meeting with President Hu Jin Tao to further strengthen trade and economic cooperation between the Philippines and China and expand the two-countries' two-way investment.

Dureza said the President will also have a bilateral meeting on the sidelines with Prime Minister Rad of Australia.

President Arroyo will be joining about 80 heads of state including Prime Minister Putin of Russia and US President Bush. "So, maganda itong opportunity to move for the bigger market of China which has a population of more than one billion," he said.

Dureza said the Chinese side had requested for the meeting with the President.

The Filipino athletes participating in the Beijing Olympiad are all excited over the participation of people's boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as the country's official flag-bearer, and the President's attendance and support for them.

The President has added P4.5 million to the cash pot for the Filipino gold medal winner in the Beijing Olympics, raising the total prize to P15 million.

This will be only the second time that the Olympic Games is held in Asia. The first was in 1964 during the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan.

Before gracing the opening of the Beijing Olympics, the President will visit Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

One of the largest economies in inland China, Chengdu, with its rapid economic growth, has emerged as one of the most popular foreign investment destinations in China. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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