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PIA Press Release

PGMA sees China as friend to RP

SHANGHAI (PNA) (2 October) -- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo considers China as a friend.

Presidential Spokesman and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, in an interview on Tuesday, said "the President sees China, which is one of the fastest growing economy in the region, as a friend of the Philippines."

"As a matter of fact, this is one of the countries where we have a positive trade balance since 2002," he added.

China is currently the third largest trading partner of Philippines.

Bunye said "there are a number of complementaries between our two nations and I think a long-term relationship with China would be in the best interest of the Philippine government."

He noted that the President has always expressed belief that "the more bridges we cross, the better for the country and for our people."

Bunye said her coming to China to expand its trade relations is "one of the kind of bridges that the President is now crossing."

"I believe that the President will bring to the Chinese business community and investing community the good news about the Philippines, which normally tends to get drowned by the chronic political noise in the country," he said.

Last week, Bunye said when President Arroyo spoke before a US forum in New York, the reception to her message was "very positive."

"The American businessmen and investors were very bullish about their own prospects in the Philippines," he said.

"I expect the same reaction for the Chinese businessmen and investment community," he added.

On the other hand, Bunye said Chinese President Hu Jintao described the relationship with the Philippines as "very fruitful... one that is entering a golden age."

"Both presidents feel that the relationship is very mature, comprehensive and mutually beneficial to both countries," he said. (OPS) [top]

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