China and the Philippines will jointly build industrial park in the Philippines to help improve the country’s industrialization level, according to the newly appointed Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong San.

”Overall, the Philippines’ industrialization level is not very high. So by jointly developing the industrial park, China wishes to advance the Philippines modernization and industrialization,” Zhong said in a press conference at the sidelines of the 5th session of the 12th National People’s Congress here.

Zhong has just concluded his four-day visit in the Philippines.

During his Manila visit, Zhong said he met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang as well as the President’s economic teams led by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

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”He (President Duterte) is very pleased about the state of China-Philippines relation especially commercial cooperation between the two countries and it is full of expectation,” Zhong said.

The Chinese official said President Duterte told him that China is the Philippines’ friend and brother.  The relation of the two countries made a huge turnaround since President Duterte’s ascension to presidency in June last year.

The popular Filipino leader has actually visited China in October last year amid the West Philippine Sea issue. His visit has resulted in US$24 billion investment pledges and funding.

Zhong said President Duterte’s successful visit to Beijing has brought back the bilateral relations, especially trade and economic ties, to the right path and have grown very fast.

He said President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jingping have reached broad consensus and comprehensive results in the growing China-Philippines relations.

”After a prolonged winter, China and Philippines had finally seen spring. He (President Duterte) said we should embrace the spring,” Zhong said.

READ ALSO: Philippine FDI Grows 41 Percent in 2016

The rejuvenated trade and economic relations have also resulted in the rapid importation of aquatic products and agricultural products such as bananas from the Philippines, according to the Chinese official. [BusinessTimes.ph]

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