China (Zhejiang)- ASEAN Trade and Investment Conference
27 Sep 2020



Figure from left: Leader ofthe Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce; Romagna, Philippine Ambassadorto China; Xu Ning-ning, Executive Director of the China-ASEAN Business Council;Amb. Francis Chua, the Founding Chairman of PSRICC and Honorary PresidentEmeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and part of theforum guests participated in the “China (Zhejiang) - ASEAN Trade and Investment”.



Amb. Francis Chua, the Founding Chairman of PSRICC and Honorary President Emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerceand Industry, attended the "China (Zhejiang) -ASEAN Trade and Investment Meeting" video conference held by the China-ASEAN Business Council on 24 September 2020 to introduce the economic development of the Philippines and promote investment opportunities.


As countries are affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, the meeting was conducted on video. Speeches delivered by Xu Ningning, Executive Director of the China-ASEAN Business Council, Han Jie,Deputy Director of the Commerce Department of Zhejiang Province, Roana,Philippine Ambassador to China, Zhou Haoli, Indonesian Ambassador to China, and Miao Dan Pei, Myanmar Ambassador to China; Briefing by the Chinese and ASEAN guests and their willingness to cooperate; Chen Zhicheng, director of Trade andDevelopment Division of Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce, introduced the development situation and ideas of bilateral trade between Zhejiang and ASEAN countries in combination with the work of online trade fair. Wu Hang,deputy director of Zhejiang International Investment Promotion Center, introducedthe situation and ideas of two-way investment cooperation between Zhejiang Province and ASEAN based on the work of Zhejiang Business Representative officein Singapore. Amb. Francis Chua, the Founding Chairman of PSRICC and Honorary President Emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry,introduced business opportunities and cooperative projects in the Philippines. Tiegong,Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Cambodia in China, introduced business opportunities and cooperative projects in Cambodia. President of TheMyanmar-china General Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Lam Man-meng, introduced business opportunities and cooperative projects in Myanmar. Commercial Counselor Of The Lao Embassy in China, Mr. Poshavan, introduced business opportunities and cooperative projects in Laos. Zhejiang Huali Group introduced the Thailand-China Rayong Industrial Park and introduced the cooperation between Zhejiang enterprises and ASEAN. Anbang Escort bank, Standard Chartered Bank and KPMG introduced Suggestions on economic and trade cooperation between Zhejiang and ASEAN respectively based on their own businesses.


Amb. Francis Chua delivered a speech:


It is my great honor to attend today's"China (Zhejiang) -ASEAN Trade and Investment Meeting", to meet with leaders and entrepreneurs from Zhejiang province on line, and to have adetailed understanding of the overall situation of Zhejiang Province. I hope to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN in areas, and I would like to thank Executive Director Xu Ningning for his kind invitation.


In the early 1980s, I accompanied my mother on a pilgrimage to the Zhoushan Islands in Zhejiang province for three consecutive years. At that time, the traffic is not convenient, to first by carto Dinghai, and then by boat to Zhoushan. Once there was a strong wind, wecould not cross the sea to Mount Putuo after reaching Shenjiamen. We waited there for three days. On the third morning, I went to the beach to look for aboat. There is a big fishing boat named "Quanzhou". There are 65 fishermen on it. I discussed with them in native Hokkien, and they felt very friendly, sothey invited more than 30 pilgrims to come on board and take us to Mount Putuo to worship Guanyin. Because the wind was too strong to stay there, he sent theship back to Shenjiamen after worshiping.


Since then, I have been particularly impressed by Zhejiang. On another trip, we had to go to the main hall to burn incense at three o 'clock in the morning. When we met a very close friend, we also went to burn incense, and we worshiped Guanyin together. Now this goodfriend already is 100 billionaire, visible the god of Zhejiang is very clever.


No wonder Zhejiang has been known as theland of fish and rice since ancient times. It has always been China's richest region. Since the reform and opening up, Zhejiang's economy has developedrapidly, and the private economy is the crown of all provinces and cities. Zhejiang is one of the fastest growing provinces. Now, Zhejiang province has become an important hub of "One Belt And One Road", bringing new opportunitiesfor Zhejiang's opening-up, as well as cooperation and development opportunities for enterprises from the Philippines and ASEAN countries.


There are many Zhejiang businessmen in the Philippines. With the support of the Philippine society and the guidance of theZhejiang Provincial government, they officially established the Philippine Zhejiang General Chamber of Commerce in Manila in 2018. This shows the speedand diligence of the Zhejiang people.


Ladies and gentlemen, the PCCI is the largest chamber of commerce in the Philippines, comprising large, medium andsmall businesses, local Chambers of commerce, and the International BusinessCouncil, all of us working together to promote the healthy development of the Philippine economy and improve the business environment.


It was established by the Spanish queenIsabel on April 19, 1886, which was named Camara de Commercio de Filipinas. After years of development and consolidation, itemerged as a PCCI on December 7, 1978, and was designated by then-President Marcos as the "sole voice of the Enterprise". PCCI's primary role isto provide focused advocacy for business growth and sustainable development. It provides business services to improve grassroots entrepreneurship, chamber ofcommerce development, international trade relations, business innovation and operational efficiency. It maintains good contacts with a wide range of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.


On the other hand, the Philippine Silk RoadInternational Chamber of Commerce (PSRICC) was established under the strategic vision of the "New Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21stCentury Maritime Silk Road". Its mission is to promote win-win cooperationbetween the Philippines and China, support Philippine enterprises to conductregional cooperation, and strengthen economic, trade, cultural and personnel exchanges among countries and regions along the belt and Road. It is also abridge between the Philippines and "One Belt And One Road".


The PSRICC has cooperated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Philippines many times, and has received manytrade and investment delegations from various Provinces and cities in China. Itorganized economic and trade forums to brief Chinese delegations on investment opportunities to promote mutual benefit. In 2018, the PSRICC joined hands withthe Chinese Embassy to invite members of the Philippine media to visit China toenhance trust and understanding between the two countries as part of cultural exchanges.


When Wuhan was threatened by novel Coronavirus epidemic, PSRICC was the first to ask for a donation to Ambassador Huang Xi Lian to support wuhan in their fight against the epidemic. Similarly,members of the PSRICC have been working together to raise funds for local governments and frontline health workers in the Philippines to fight theepidemic. We hope to help the government and friendly agencies cooperate andgive priority to bringing Chinese vaccines into the Philippines.


Now, Chinese companies are going global. Istrongly recommend that you make the Philippines your first choice forinvestment. The PCCI and PSRICC will work together to help Chinese companies investing and setting up factories in the Philippines. We will also provide free consultation and assistance to Chinese companies.


Why invest in the Philippines:


First, there are abundant human resources,a large number of workers, a population of over 100 million, and an average ageof 24. University, secondary and primary education is free of charge. Englishis widely spoken. 80% of the population can speak English. The literacy rate is 94.6%, among the highest in Asia.


Second, the domestic market has broad prospects. Filipinos have a strong desire to consume, with private consumption accounting for nearly 70% of GDP. In 2015, consumer confidence in thePhilippines was the second highest in the world and the highest in SoutheastAsia, according to Nielsen.


Third, it isrich in natural resources and energy. There are more than 20 kinds of mineraldeposits in the Philippines, including copper, gold, silver, iron, chromium and nickel. Copper reserves are about 4.8 billion tons, nickel 1.09 billion tonsand gold 136 million tons. The Philippines is also rich in geothermal resources, the second largest in the world, with an estimated 2.09 billionbarrels of oil equivalent. In the waters to the northwest of Palawan, preliminaryoil reserves of about 350 million barrels are among the largest in Asia and theworld. The Philippines has high forest coverage and rich aquatic resources.


Fourth, it has the radiation advantage of American and European markets. The United States and the European Union havegiven corresponding preferential tariff treatment to Philippine exports. The Philippines has a special relationship with the United States, which givesspecial treatment to Philippine products. 70-80% of the products are duty-free.


Fifth, foreign investment visa andduty-free concessions. To encourage foreign investors to participate in thePhilippines' economic development, the Philippine government has eased visa requirements for foreign investors, granting them long-term residency rightsfor every 10 workers they employ in the Philippines. Machinery and equipment are imported duty-free, and foreigners can be hired to work in the Philippines,whose families have a five-year residency.


If you want to participate in a major construction project in the Philippines, because the Philippines borrows moneyfrom China, it mainly cooperates with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. If sufficient funds are available, hydroelectric power plants can be built solely.Coal, solar and geothermal power plants are also popular. At the same time, Ihope you will invest in industrial parks, large-scale mining, plantation industrial forests, agriculture, printing, pharmaceutical, rubber, software development, telecommunications and other industries.


As a country along the "One Belt And One Road" route, the Philippines has conducted extensive cooperation withChina under the "One Belt And One Road" initiative in recent years. ThePhilippine Secretary of Trade and Industry, Leopoldo Lopez, pointed out thatthe "One Belt And One Road" initiative is very beneficial to thePhilippines, especially as China and the Philippines are promoting large-scaleinfrastructure. We hope that the Philippines and China will work together topromote the "One Belt And One Road".


I am very glad to see that China and ASEAN prevent the epidemic together, at the same time, Zhejiang as a big economic province of China, is actively explore the economic and tradecooperation with ASEAN countries, and support enterprises in the prevention and control during the outbreak of business activities, reduce outbreak on bothsides of economic activity and cooperation with asean countries to seek new development together! In addition, I would like to thank the China-Asean Business Council for providing a platform for relevant local governments and enterprises in China to cooperate with ASEAN countries.


On the independence Day of the Philippinesin June, President Xi Jinping once promised to novel Coronavirus vaccine with the Philippine President in a phone call of more than 30 minutes to consider the needs of the Philippines once there is a vaccine! China and the Philippinesare good friends, good neighbors and good partners, as well as blood andcultural relatives. The Philippines will continue to cooperate with China tostrive for peaceful development in the region. Once the world is secure, can human beings have happiness.

Editor/Linguister Stephanie Tan


Souce: PSRICC Official Wechat account