• China to sign deal to buy $1-B agri products from PH

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    CHINA is set to sign a purchase agreement with the Philippines for $1 billion worth of agriculture products during the visit of Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang later this month, a top trade official said on Tuesday.

    “In addition to the figures earlier given, China will sign a purchase agreement of agri products including durian, avocado, banana, pineapple, coconut, mango, dragon fruit, mangosteen, marang, rice, coffee, cacao, fisheries, chicken and duck meat,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters in a Viber message.

    China has also agreed to fund three priority projects of the Philippines identified during the 28th Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JCETC) meeting on Tuesday.

    These three are the Chico River Pump Irrigation project worth $53.9 million, the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project worth $374 million, and the North-South Railway–South Line worth $3 billion.

    It can be recalled that in March last year, China destroyed 35 tons of bananas from the Philippines valued at $33,000 and eventually suspended 27 exporters, supposedly due to excessive pesticide use. China lifted the ban in October.

    The Philippines is the second largest producer of bananas worldwide, next to Ecuador. In 2015, the Philippines exported 448,000 metric tons of bananas to China valued at $157.5 million.

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