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PHL-China trade posts 32% growth in first 10 months of 2011

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Trade between the Philippines and China posted a 32 percent annual growth from January to October 2011, signaling the continuing robustness of the bilateral economic relations amidst weaknesses in the global economy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, reported that according to statistics issued recently by the General Administration of China (GAC), total trade between the two countries reached US$ 26 billion in the first 10 months of the year, an increase of 31.69 percent from figures of the same period last year.

Embassy Charge d' affaires (CDA) Alex G. Chua welcomed these statistics "as an indication of the strength, resilience and potentials of the trade and economic ties between the two countries."

"The momentum is positive and encouraging for both sides especially as both countries aim to meet the US$ 60 -billion trade goal by 2016, which was set jointly by President Benigno S. Aquino III and Chinese President Hu Jintao in September during the President's visit to China," Chua added.

He cited the "Embassy's confidence that the current trends will be sustained under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China Free Trade (ACFTA) regime."

From January to October, Philippine exports to China reached US$ 14.6 billion while Chinese exports to the Philippines topped US$ 11.4 billion, expanding by 21 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

At present, trade between the two countries is dominated by electronic and electrical products, industrial parts, nickel/copper, liquefied petroleum gas, fertilizer and ceramics.

Chua also pointed out that Philippine agricultural and agri-processed products, furniture, iron and steel and logistics-related goods have also been gaining headway in the Chinese market, but exporters are advised to continue to actively tap opportunities in the country which has fast-rising income and consumption levels and rapid urbanization rates.

He cited "the immense benefits that Philippine producers stand to gain from the free trade and economic agreements between ASEAN and China."
Over the past few years, the ASEAN countries as a group have become among China's top trading partners, with ASEAN exports to China growing at astronomically-high rates. China is the Philippines' third biggest trading partner.

Philippine-China trade reached its highest level in 2007, with US$ 30.6 billion, before contracting in the next two years as a result of the global financial crisis.

The recovery of the bilateral trade beginning in 2010 and a possibly strong finish with this whole year's figures reaching pre-crisis levels augur well for the important economic relationship between the two countries, which is also seeing steady expansion in key sectors like tourism, investments and development assistance.

By PNA




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