FUZHOU, Fujian, China: The Chinese government is inviting Philippine companies to export fish to the mainland that will be processed by China Asean Marine Product Exchange (Campe), which transacts online, delivers offline and settles cross-border trade.
AManila-based company, Sinocom, is already exporting milkfish (bangus), according to Campe official Jian Zhou.
“We import milkfish from Philippines and one of these companies is Sinocom,” Jian said, adding that the Chinese love the Philippine fish.
He said the annual trade volume is about 2,000,000 metric tons and annual value of trade is pegged at not less than 30 billion yuan.
The marine products, according to Jian, are mostly shipped to various areas in China to help feed the country’s more than 1 billion people.
“But we want Philippine companies to start exporting their products to us,” he said.
Current Chinese President Xi Jinping was once secretary of Fuzhou Municipal Party before he became Fujian governor.
Campe was started only in 2013 but now handles about fifty percent of marine trading in the world.
Together with the establishment of Campe, a huge storage called Mandy Group handles cold chain logistics from ice-making, warehousing, processing, testing and processing of aquatic products.
Ten journalists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines were invited by the Fujian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tour them to various companies in the province, especially those directly related to the Maritime Silk Route.
The Silk Route was established during the early dynasties in China wherein spices from around the world were brought into the country in exchange for vintage Chinese porcelain, among others.
Fujian, with a 38.74 million population, is the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Route more than 1,000 years ago.
More than 60,000 seafarers come from this province.
Fujian is on the southeast coast of the Chinese mainland or about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Hong Kong.
In 2016, its gross domestic product (GDP) totaled RMB 73,617 and government revenue was RMB 414.3 billion.
Foreign trade volume reached RMB 1.04 billion.
Well-known Filipinos like Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, the Cojuangco family and even national hero Jose Rizal trace their roots to Fujian.
“So, the Philippines and China are actually brothers. We have so much in common and we have dealing [with each other]since time immemorial. We have people to people connections ever since,” said Li Lin, deputy director general of the Foreign Affairs Office of Fujian Provincial People’s Government.
JAIME R. PILAPIL