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PIA Press Release

Top businessmen express confidence in RP's sound economic fundamentals

Beijing (28 October) -- Top Chinese business leaders on Monday said that despite the global financial turmoil, they remain confident in the sound economic fundamentals of the Philippines.

During a call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Chinese businessmen also affirmed their commitment to make new investments or expand existing business operations in the Philippines.

Among those who held separate meetings with the President at the Shangri-la Hotel here were members of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), China Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Association (COCEA), and Shandong Green TEC Electric Technology Company.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said that taken up during the meetings with the President were a wide range of business and investment topics, including mining, garment and handbags-manufacturing, resorts development, and electric car distribution.

CCPIT, China's largest and most influential foreign trade promotion agency, cited the long-standing trade relations between the Philippines and China, particularly with Zhejiang province, which had "increased tremendously" over the last 30 years.

CCPIT-Zhejiang chairman Tie Jianshe said that from only P10 million in 1975, trade between the Philippines and Zhejiang vaulted to $1 billion in 2005.

He assured the President that "our group (CCPIT) will continue to promote trade exchanges between our countries."

For her part, the President invited the CCPIT to invest in the Philippines, particularly in the garments business as Zhejiang, which is renowned for its silk industry, may want to tap the resources of the Philippines in design and dress-making.

The COCEA, led by its vice chairman Li Ru Long, told the President of the group's desire to buy nickel and copper ore from the Philippines to support China's growing steel requirements.

Li also said that COCEA plans to build a hotel-resort in Calicuan, Guiuan in Eastern Samar. Noted for its pristine and beautiful beaches, Calicuan is now easily accessible to tourists following the opening of a new airport in Guiuan.

COCEA underscored the need for an increase in the frequency of plane flights between mainland China and the Philippines to meet the demand of the growing tourist traffic from China to the Philippines.

COCEA said the Philippine Airlines' two daily flights between China and the Philippines were simply not adequate.

Officials of the Shandong Green TEC Electric Technology Co. Ltd. (SGTETCL), the President's third caller this morning, were led by company chairman Li Minghu, who briefed her on his company tieup with a Filipino corporation in the manufacture of electric-powered vehicles.

The electric-powered vehicle could be used along with the iconic Filipino jeepney as a people transporter.

Minghu, who was joined by her Filipino counterpart Eddie Jose, told the President that there are already two E (electric) -jeepneys plying routes in the Makati central business district.

She said that the E-powered cars are getting rave reviews from passengers for their being environment-friendly.

SGTETCL has commissioned MDJ Industries, manufacturer of quality jeeps and other vehicles, to construct 10 additional units of E-jeepneys, Jose told the President.

E-jeepneys carry a maximum of 14 passengers and travel 80 kilometers on a single fully-charged battery.

The President's last caller in the morning were officials and executives of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group Co. Ltd. led by its chairman and CEO Dhanin Chearavanont.

Officials of the agri-business firm told the President that they are interested in putting up a diversified aquaculture project in Mindanao to breed fish, shrimps and other marine life for export.

Chearavanont also told the President that his company will put up a swine and chicken meat exporting conglomerate in Northern Philippines targeting the Japanese and China markets.

Press Secretary Dureza said that the Chinese business leaders "appreciated so much the personal campaign of the President no less" to bring in more investments to the Philippines. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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