CHINA’S One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative will help the Philippines to be more competitive in global trade, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
With airports and seaports as part of the Duterte presidency’s envisioned “Golden Age of Infrastructure,” the maritime Silk Road component of OBOR will open new markets for Philippine products in Beijing’s planned corridor between China and the Middle East and Europe, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in a statement on Tuesday.
The OBOR Initiative, valued at about $1 trillion, aims to get some 60 countries to invest in infrastructure projects to develop land and maritime routes tracing the old Silk Road network that once connected China to Central Asia and Europe.
Describing the OBOR as a “powerful idea,” Dominguez said the project will promote free trade and integrate economies across Asia and Europe.
“We think that Philippines will definitely benefit in participating in this One Belt, One Road project, particularly in the Maritime Silk Road section of that project,” the Cabinet official noted.
“The Philippines is building a lot of infrastructure, of course, with the help of China, and among the infrastructure that we are building are ports and airports. That will help lower the cost of shipping our goods to, say, Hong Kong or to Shanghai, and that will open markets to us along the corridor between China and the Middle East and Europe,” he said.
The Philippine manufacturing industry will have more and quicker access to new and profitable markets under the OBOR project, particularly companies producing electronics, and the food exports sector especially those selling tropical fruits.
“We are the largest exporters of tropical fruits (in Asia). So, definitely there will be a lot of benefit to us if we are able to open markets in, let’s say, Kazakhstan, in Uzbekistan, along the One Belt, One Road area,” he said.
“And that’s aside from our manufactured goods,” he added.