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Economy, Investment and Trade
China, largest trading partner to ASEAN
(12 March 2018) During a press conference following the first session of the 2018 National People’s Congress (NPC), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China is now ASEAN’s largest trading partner after two-way trade reached US$500 billion in 2017. China-ASEAN partnership has proven to bring about tremendous benefits to both Asean and China, with a combined population of nearly two billion. 2018 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership and cooperation between China and ASEAN. Moving forward, China is looking to further strengthen its economic and diplomatic relations with ASEAN, as the current cooperation is the most successful and dynamic in the Asia-Pacific region.
Philippines and China to sign loan agreement for infrastructure projects
(10 March 2018) The Philippine and the Chinese governments are set to sign loan agreements for three mega infrastructure projects in the Philippines. The loan agreement for the US$210 million (PHP10.9 billion) New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam is set to be signed between the second and third quarters of this year, while the US$52 million (PHP2.7 billion) Chico River Pump Irrigation Facility and the US$2.9 billion (PHP151 billion) Philippine National Railways-South Long Haul Railway are set to be signed between the third and fourth quarters of 2018. The projects are part of the “first basket” of projects to be funded by China Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Philippines Department of Finance (DOF) said China has committed a total amount of US$7.34 billion in loans and grants to finance not only the ambitious infrastructure programme of the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, but also the reconstruction and rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City.
China to strengthen financial support for Belt and Road Initiative
(7 March 2018) The Chinese government will further strengthen financial support for the country’s Belt and Road Initiative by fostering diversified financing channels for Belt and Road projects. Chinese government’s latest annual budget report said, over the first five years of the initiative, bilateral currency swap agreements worth US$224 billion (1.4 trillion yuan) has been signed with the central banks of 24 participating governments.
Chinese businessmen to explore investment and business opportunities in Cambodia
(8 March 2018) On 7 March 2018, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) organised a visit for more than 20 leading companies delegation from China to explore investment and business opportunities in various sectors in Cambodia, as part of China Chamber of International Commerce (COIC)’s effort to strengthen bilateral collaborations between the two countries. In 2017, the CDC approved 183 projects worth US$6.3 billion, a 75 percent increase year-on-year in the amount of investment received by the country in 2017. Deputy Secretary General of the Cambodia Investment Board, Mr. Nut Unvoanra also said the investment figure in 2017 was the greatest in the last five years. From 2013 to 2017, Chinese investment totalled US$5.3 billion, or about US$1 billion a year, making China the biggest investor in the country.
Philippines and China to set up data exchange system
(10 March 2018) The customs agencies of the Philippines and China have agreed to set up a data exchange system to facilitate the timely sharing of trade information to aid the two nations in their respective campaigns against smuggling and tax evasion. The request for information was in compliance with the directive of Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III to Commissioner Isidro Lapeña to check the narrowing gap between China’s registered export volumes to the Philippines and data on Philippine imports from China. In December last year, Dominguez said official trade data shows that the estimated discrepancy between registered Chinese exports to the Philippines and registered Philippine imports from China has been declining but still very large, with the gap reported at 60 percent in 2010.