RP, China to Sign 10 Trade Agreements Worth $1.5 B

Article excerpt

Byline: BERNIE CAHILESMAGKILAT

The Philippines and China are expected to sign 10 bilateral agreements and worth of $1.5 billion investments from six private sector commercial agreements to be signed during the state visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao next week in what seen to be the first wave of Chinese investments in the country.

This was revealed by Ambassador Jose E.B. Antonio, special envoy to the Peoples Republic of China and chairman of the Philippine-China Business Council, to reporters at the Philippine Business Leaders Forum.

"This will be the first wave of Chinese investments in the country," Antonio said. The Chinese leader will arrive for a state visit on Tuesday, next week.

Highlighting the short visit is the signing of six commercial agreements that would finalize long planned investments in the country.

These include the $1-billion investments of Shanghai Bao Steel Group Corp. and Jin Chuan Non-Ferrous Metals Corp. for the rehabilitation of the Philippine Nickel Corp. (Philnico) project in Surigao; the $300 million integrated glass manufacturing in Subic worth $300 million; and the $25-million Seeinglong Biotech Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Antonio said the entry of Bao Steel in Philnico would be a combination of equity and loan.

"What would be the exact specification of that assistance will be finalized next week," he said.

There are also other investments in the areas of energy, coconut products as well the framework agreement for joint exploration in the Calamian area in offshore northwest Palawan.

From the government to government side, the government-owned Philippine Infrastructure Corp. (PIC) as also lined up infrastructure projects with Chinese investors including the general loan agreement of $300 million of preferential buyers credit from the Chinese government to the Philippines. …