MANILA – At least 14 bilateral agreements were inked between the Philippines and China on the second day of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s state visit to Beijing, Malacañang announced Wednesday.
The signed deals aim to enhance the two countries' cooperation in various fields, including agriculture, infrastructure, development cooperation, maritime security and tourism, Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said in a statement.
Garafil said a joint action plan for 2023-2025 on agricultural and fisheries cooperation was signed between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
She added there was also an agreement between the DA and China's General Administration of Customs for the protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh durians from the Philippines to China.
The two countries, Garafil said, also inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure development strategy launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 to invest in nearly 150 countries and international organizations, enhancing connectivity and facilitating smoother trade flows among Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Garafil said another MOU was signed between the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and China’s to improve the two nations’ cooperation on digital and information and communications technology (ICT).
Manila and Beijing also agreed on the handover certificate of the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology-Technological Cooperation Phase III (PHILSCAT-TCP III), Garafil added.
Garafil said a handover certificate of two China-aid bridge projects in Manila, the Binondo-Intramuros bridge and the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge, was also sealed.
She said Manila and Beijing also had a framework agreement for the Renminbi-portion of the loan financing for three priority projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The two countries, Garafil said, also sealed four loan agreements for the mixed-credit financing (US Dollar and Renminbi) of the DPWH’s three priority bridge projects.
Garafil noted that the Philippine and Chinese governments also agreed to implement the MOU on tourism between the Philippines' Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.
She said an MOU on electronic commerce cooperation was also inked between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and China’s Ministry of Commerce.
An MOU between the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and China's International Development Cooperation Agency was likewise signed for the implementation of the Development Cooperation Plan 2023-2025, Garafil said.
Garafil said there was also an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between China and the Philippines.
Also included in the list of deals was the mutual recognition agreement between the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and China’s General Administration of Customs of China for the implementation of the authorized economic operator program, she added.
Garafil said there was also an arrangement for the establishment of a communication mechanism on maritime issues between the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The 14 agreements are in addition to the existing 100 deals between the Philippines and China.
Marcos, before departing Manila for his China trip on Tuesday, expressed hope that his three-day state visit would help further elevate the two countries’ ties to "comprehensive strategic partnership" and improve their cooperation on key areas. (PNA)