Led over 600 PH-China Business Matching Sessions.

Following the signing of the two-year strategic cooperation agreement during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Beijing last October 2016, Department of Trade Industry Secretary (DTI) Ramon Lopez and China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang recently (18 March) launched the Philippines-China Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Cross-Border Business Matching in Metro Manila to show support for the development initiatives devoted for SMEs.

The DTI, in partnership with the Bank of China (BOC), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the International Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP), brought together more than 600 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the Philippines and China to explore new modes of cooperation through collaboration and integration of knowledge of both countries.

Such an initiative complements DTI’s support for MSMEs as the backbone of the Philippine economy, comprising more than 99 percent of the locally registered businesses in the country, and providing one million jobs every year.

“With the support of the Chinese counterparts, local MSMEs will be able to seize opportunities in the current global market,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, adding that the business matching initiative shows how far Philippines-China relations has broadened, with prior commitments currently producing tangible results.

Both sides also agreed to further engagements in trade and investment, infrastructure grants, and tourism development.

“China and the Philippines will always be neighbors despite of the twist and turns of its relationship. To be good neighbors is the only right choice for us,” said Vice Premier Yang, who also emphasized the relevance of trust-building, upholding peace, seeking common interests and managing differences through dialogues.

The recent economic engagements are just the beginning of the reinvigorated friendship between the two countries, according to Sec. Lopez. This continuing collaboration will foster a favorable economic and technological exchanges and cooperation between both sides.

“Still, I am confident that despite the challenges of the past years, the ties between our two countries not only endure, but have matured. Thanks to our shared history and bond as Asian nations,” the trade chief concluded.