In a dialogue between Philippine China experts and a group of scholars from the Guangxi University, agricultural and manufacturing sectors seem to emerge as potential areas of cooperation between Philippines and Guangxi Province.

According to Mr. Jeffrey Ng, Vice President of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Trade and Industry (FFCCCII), Guangxi’s agriculture compliments the stagnation of the sector in the Philippines. The province imports fruits and rice from Southeast Asia.

Another prospect is fisheries particularly techniques in transporting products. As parts of food security, these two sectors will have direct impact into people’s livelihood. In the dialogue, China was encouraged to focus on social contributions and go extra mile to understand what the grassroots needs.

Financial technology and e-commerce, machinery and equipment, and industrial zones are other opportunities for the Philippines and Guangxi.

Discussions during the dialogue evolved on the mutual perceptions and public opinion, access to information and inclusivity of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), role of local governments in promoting bilateral cooperation, BRI significance and way forward, and academic and people-to-people exchanges. Security matters such as illegal transnational activities, the trade-offs of economic gains versus law enforcement problems, and China’s public diplomacy were inevitably discussed.

The eight-member delegation from Guangxi University was led by Dean of Finance Department Qin Jian Wen. Together with Nanning local government, the delegation aims to learn from Southeast Asian countries and advance trade and economic relations.

Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress teamed with the FFCCCII in organizing this dialogue, which was hosted by Astoria Plaza. Officers and Advisory Board Members of the Philippine Association of Chinese Studies also participated in the half-day event.

Guangxi and Guangxi University

Guangxi Autonomous region connects China to its Southeast Asians neighbors. It has several ports and rivers which give the province direct access to the ocean. On the other hand, Chongqing-Singapore railway line passes through Nanning, hence making the province important in China’s trade with Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government mandated Guangxi University to make civil engineering and applied economics world-class programs. Agriculture Studies, Animal Science, and Forest Studies top in its A-list courses as well.