DTI sees PHL-China ecozone cooperation


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is backing a proposal that will link local and Chinese economic zones through a cooperation, which is expected to boost investment and trade.

Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said that the proposed partnership can enhance the tourism, movement of goods and services, technology and foreign direct investment inflows in Manila and Beijing.

“We see a potential synergy between the two economic zones in China and the Philippines,” he said during the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)-Electrical Industry Cooperation Matchmaking online event.

Among the investment opportunities proposed by Rodolfo are assembly and manufacture of finished products, and innovation and digital technologies or startups. He also pitched the country as a complementary location for production of high technology export products.

As such, the DTI official said, they are ready to assist China in identifying potential partners to develop industrial parks locally.

He said that Chinese investors can develop economic zones into “eco-townships or smart cities, complete with embedded renewable energy sources and other utilities, a dedicated port, and a self-sustaining business ecosystem to support the growth of industry clusters” as well following the new ecozone model.

Rodolfo cited China as an “important” business partner of the country as both are parties to the mega trade deal RCEP.

“We are targeting to complete the whole process [ratification] within this year. The RCEP will build on our already strong international partnership through the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement,” he said.

The trade deal is set to enter into force by January next year after meeting the minimum number of ratification by signatories. It was signed in November last year by Asean and its free trade deal partners.

In addition, the official shared that the DTI and China-Asean Business Council (CABC) inked a memorandum of understanding on economic and trade strategic cooperation framework.

“As the taking effect of the RCEP is a month away, the CABC and the RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee are assisting the synergistic cooperation of specific industries and enterprises in RCEP member- states to improve the effectiveness of cooperation,” he said.

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