China eyes agricultural land lease pacts with Philippines
InterAksyon.com | 29 August 2011
by Chichi Conde
BEIJING (via PLDT) – China is keen on entering into lease agreements with the Philippines to develop unused land for agriculture, Chinese Ambassador to Manila Liu Jianchao said.
“What we can do is foreign companies can lease the land and then grow the crops and then sell the crops to the local market of the Philippines. And if they still have surplus, they can sell it to the international market,” said Liu who arrived in Beijing over the weekend.
The ambassador said he is aware of concerns on the land use of foreign companies in the Philippines.
“I think this is a vital and reasonable arrangement. If there is going to be such collaborations, I believe the foreign companies, including the Chinese companies, will be in a position that such cooperation will be comfortable to the Philippine side,” Liu said.
A highlight of President Benigno Aquino III’s six-day state visit to China is the signing of a five-year development pact for trade and cooperation that aims to raise some $60 billion in investments for the Philippines.
Earlier, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Cristina Ortega said the development pact covers infrastructure projects through the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership program and the mining, energy, and tourism sectors, among others.
Ortega said an implementing program on a bilateral tourism agreement would also be signed. In the pact, the Chinese government will promote the Philippines as a tourist destination to its nationals.
China is the Philippines' fourth largest source of tourists. In 2010, 187,446 Chineses nationals visited the country.
Part of the investments are those that will be forged between private business groups of the two countries, according to Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio said
“There will be joint ventures, in particular on ship building, mining, automobile, investment funds, and energy sectors. We are expecting as much as $7 billion during the visit,” Panlilio said.
Among those who will accompany Aquino in Beijing on Tuesday are Filipino taipans John Gokongwei, Washington Sycip, Tony Tan Caktiong, Antonio Cojuangco III, George Ty, Teresita Sy-Coson, Carlos Chan, Ramon Ang, Lucio Tan, and Andrew Tan.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines is also eyeing at least $3 billion of the total investments that are expected to be firmed up during the state visit.
On Wednesday, Aquino will meet with Chinese businessmen from Energy World, State Grid of China Corporation/National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, China Trend/China Investment Corporation/China Petroleum, and contractors for public works projects.
The President will also keynote a Philippines-China Economic and Trade Forum where he is expected to make a pitch for the public-private partnership projects for possible Chinese funding.
He will also meet with officials from Chinese firms Lee World, China Asean Fund, Shandong Sanli Tires, and Dungfeng for possible investments in the automobile and agriculture industries.
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