Pasig, Philippines: Key think tank figures, business groups, and government agency representatives gathered to discuss the status of Philippines-China trade and investments at a roundtable discussion organized by the Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, inc. (APPFI), in cooperation with the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), last June 11, 2015 at the Astoria Plaza.
The forum’s objective was to provide a platform to assess whether and in what ways political tensions arising from the West Philippine Sea disputes were affecting economic ties, particularly Philippine exports to China and Chinese investments in the Philippines. The participants shared on-the-ground experiences, including private sector concerns on the matter. Aside from addressing problems and prospects in economic relations, special topics such as the impact of China’s Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) and the Maritime Silk Route Initiative were also discussed.
“We are hoping that through such forums, we can examine where we are, identify some of the problems and concerns, and reflect on the role economic relations play in the overall ties between the two countries”, Dr. Aileen Baviera, President and CEO of APPFI, said.
Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., President of PHILEXPORT, also said “Acknowledging China as an important trade and investment partner, we thought that the discussion will be a relevant contribution to easing or mitigating economic impacts that the current political tensions may be creating on the trade relations of both countries. China and other neighboring Asian nations play a critical role in the Philippines’ bid for progress and prosperity.”
The event, also supported by Astoria Plaza, was part of a series of dialogues and workshops held by APPFI to bring together various stakeholders in Philippines-China relations. A similar roundtable was held on Chinese tourism in the Philippines last March, in cooperation with tourism consultancy firm Asia Pacific Projects, Inc. APPFI is also collaborating with the Asian Institute of Management in conducting high-level consultations on the regional economic and security situation.
Baviera said “The series of activities hopes to result in a study that will look comprehensively at the various dimensions of our relations with China, not just economic but other aspects as well.”
APPFI describes its vision as the promotion of peace, development, and cultural understanding for peoples of the Philippines and the Asia Pacific through research, international dialogue and cooperation, while PHILEXPORT is committed to work for the continuing development of the Philippines and the prosperity of the Filipinos through exports.