A Philippine Cabinet team is set to meet with top-level Chinese officials to finalize the details of $15 billion worth of economic and investment deals reached between Manila and Beijing during President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China last October, the Department of Finance (DoF) said over the weekend.
A DoF statement said a high-level delegation composed of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia, Transport Sec. Arthur Tugade and Public Works and Highways Sec. Mark Villar will visit China on January 23 to 24 to hold such talks with key Chinese officials.
While in Beijing, the Philippine officials will hold separate meetings with China Vice Premier Wang Yang, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) chairman Xu Shaoshi, the statement said.
They also plan to meet with top officials of the China Investment Corp. (CIC), it added.
The discussions will cover government-to-government projects signed between the Philippines and China; proposed projects for financing and feasibility studies; chairmanship of the Philippines this year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; and matters concerning the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Philippines’ flagship infrastructure projects such as the PNR South Line, the Mindanao Railway and the Subic-Clark Railway.
“Philippine and Chinese officials agreed in November last year during a meeting in Manila to move ahead and set up structures of coordination to effectively implement the investment pledges forged between Manila and Beijing during President Duterte’s state visit to China,” the statement said.
NEDA deputy director general Rolando Tungpalan, DPWH Undersecretaries Emil Sadain and Karen Jimeno and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio Dizon are also part of the delegation.
Also joining them are DoF Assistant Secretaries Ma. Edita Tan and Mark Dennis Joven, DoTr Assistant Secretaries Leah Merida Quiambao and Cesar Chavez, and Assistant Secretary Julia Nebrija of the Metro Manila Development Authority.