Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang witnessed (15 November 2017) the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines (PH) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) during the sidelines of the visit of the Chinese Head of Government to the Philippines.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and MOFCOM Vice-Minister Fu Ziying signed the MOU on joint cooperation on Industrial Parks Development, which would expand opportunities for bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

“The MOU sets the tone in creating a program that will facilitate a seamless investment guide for Chinese investors in PH industrial parks,” said Sec. Lopez.

Sec. Lopez further shared that the MOU provides provisions on undertaking business matching activities to facilitate possible partnership and collaboration between PH and PROC enterprises.

“This joint cooperation will strengthen economic ties between the two countries by enhancing the Philippines’ manufacturing competence and diversifying China’s investments in the Philippines,” said the trade chief.

Chinese investors have earlier visited possible locations in Luzon and Mindanao for industrial park development, as a response to earlier commitments of China to President Duterte to expand opportunities in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines and the State Intellectual Property on Cooperation of China also signed a MOU in protecting, utilizing, managing, and enforcing intellectual property through joint cooperation. The MOU was signed by IPO Director General Josephine Santiago and National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Zhang Yong.

Twelve other agreements were signed during the event, including cooperation on youth, infrastructure development, climate change, defense industry, and investment and production, among others.

“The signing of these documents reflects the commitment of Philippines and China towards mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as the resolve of the administration of President Duterte to strengthen further the renewed ties of friendship with China, our Asian neighbor,” he concluded.♦