Nanning, China – 16 September 2022 – Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. encouraged business people gathered in this southern China city to help the Philippines “leapfrog into new and emerging industries that will modernize our manufacturing base by pouring in resources and investments in industry clusters” during the opening ceremony of the 19th China ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO).

The Philippine President joined national leaders from ASEAN Members States, who addressed via video messages, and on-site attendees who gathered in the annual trade and investment event’s permanent host city of Nanning.

Highlighting the growth momentum being experienced in the Philippines with its strong 7.4% GDP performance in the second quarter of 2022, and the strong relations between both countries as China continues to be the Philippines’ largest total trading partner, President Marcos encouraged Chinese investors that now is the time to invest in the Philippines particularly in key industry clusters industrial, manufacturing and transport (IMT); technology, media and telecoms (TMT); and in health and life sciences.

In 2021, total trade between the Philippines and China totaled USD38 B, 25% higher than its 2020 level. It is also the top source of imports for the Philippines, and the 7th largest source of foreign direct investments in 2021.

The Philippines, through the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC)  in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong; the Philippine Embassy in Beijing; the Philippine Consulate General’s Office in Guangzhou; and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), shall be featured in the Country Pavilion; the Commodity Pavilion; the RCEP Pavilion; and the investment-related events happening on September 16-19.

A total of 22 online and onsite Philippine food and non-food entities are participating in the exhibition with business meetings pre-arranged with the CAEXPO Secretariat.

The Board of Investments (BOI), together with investment promotion agencies such as Clark, Subic, the Based Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), are also leading the country’s investment fora participations at the CAEXPO, together with the PTICs in China, who partnered with China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Foreign Affairs Offices (FAO), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China International Contractors Association (CHINCA), China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC); and some of China’s top business groups from Henan, Guangxi, Chongqing, and companies like Douyin, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in China.

The 2022 CAEXPO is running this year on the theme “Sharing RCEP New Opportunities: Building a Version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA,” as parties expand their horizon to proactively include other bilateral FTA partners of the ASEAN Member-States, specifically those involved in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which was collectively signed in November 2020 by fifteen countries from the Asia Pacific region. 

The RCEP  is considered to be the largest trading bloc in the world today being representative of about 1/3 of the total global  population and GDP.  

Date of Release: 21 September 2022