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Beijing To Build and Co-Finance Philippine Infrastructure

Feb. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—Philippine Commerce Secretary Carlos Dominguez detailed the agreements reached during his trip to Beijing in January. He reported to the Business Mirror in Manila, that Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng agreed to seek co-financing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and World Bank for the projects in the Philippines.

Three projects named were a $3 billion rail project, connecting Manila to the south to Legaspi City on the Bicol peninsula, and two water projects costing over $400 million.

Dominguez gave the Chinese a total of 40 large and small infrastructure projects for possible financing and assistance in conducting feasibility studies during the Jan. 23 and 24 mission, Business Mirror reported. Of the 40 projects, 15 were for loan financing, and 25 for feasibility-study support.

Nine other projects aim to interconnect the country’s three main island-groups; boost tourism; and construct a flood-control system in Mindanao and "ensure its stable power supply." Nuclear support has not come up as yet. The two countries will hold bilateral meetings to advance the projects.

"It makes more sense for us to be closer to our Asian neighbors than to our distant friends," Dominguez said. During Duterte’s visit to Beijing last year, $24 billion worth of aid and investment pledges were agreed to by China, in soft loans totaling $9 billion and other economic deals amounting to about $15 billion.