Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez spoke highly of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Philippines in an exclusive interview with People’s Daily.
“President Xi’s visit is a key moment in the development in Philippines-China relations,” he said.
“With the two country leaders’ care and guidance, the Philippines and China have concrete cooperation in many domains,” Dominguez said. “There is an old Chinese saying that a good neighbor is better than a brother far off. The Philippines and China are located in the same geographic region with shared interests, and the two should keep watch and help each other.”
Dominguez said he is pleased to witness the improvement in Philippines-China economic and trade cooperation. He noted that bilateral trade between the Philippines and China have been hitting double digits since 2017. The number of Chinese tourists to the Philippines has also significantly increased. China has been vigorously supporting Philippines in clean energy and infrastructure construction, among others. And inter-government projects have been carried out.
“Solid achievements of cooperation benefit people from the two countries and close Philippines-China relations help us all. I hope relations between the two countries keep moving forward,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez said he hopes to see people-to-people exchanges and enhanced mutual understanding through channels such as tourism cooperation.
Dominguez expressed his gratitude to China for its humanitarian aid to the Philippines and Malawi in both rescue and post-disaster reconstruction.
In terms of the Belt and Road initiatives, Dominguez said ”the B&R initiatives propose the construction of the 21th Century Maritime Silk Road, which will benefit Philippine economy and society. ”
Dominguez first visited Beijing in 1988 as Secretary of Agriculture, and has since been to China many times. During his most recent visit to Hangzhou, he experienced the convenience brought by the rapidly developing financial technology.
Dominguez said that in China, people can pay by scanning a QR code with a cellphone, “China’s development in financial technology is far ahead of any other countries,” he added.
“China has developed remarkably, which shows China is following a development path suited to its conditions,” Dominguez said, praising China’s achievements in its 40-year reform and opening up process.
Dominguez also invited Chinese enterprises. He said the Philippines is serious in improving infrastructure, has a good business environment and sufficient labor resources. “We welcome, protect and encourage foreign investments in the Philippines, and we look forward to more Chinese enterprises to consider the Philippines as a preferred investment destination,” he said.
(Video by Liu Zhonghua, Zhang Zhiwen, edited by Tang Jie, compiled by Qiao Wai)