Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo believes the visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping later this month to the Philippines because it would further strengthen relations between the two countries.
In her Keynote Speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Youth Summit 2018 held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Arroyo said Philippine-China relations has a deep foundation and she expected Xi?s visit to further boost the relations given the ?favorable? status under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
?The current status continues to be favorable, because President Rodrigo Duterte is a friend of China,? Mrs. Arroyo told thousands of delegates to the summit.
She said keeping a good relationship with China was important to the Philippines because of of its geographical location, trading partnership and proven capability in infrastructure development.
?China?s economy remains the most dynamic and fast growing among the major nations, and will soon become the largest economy in the world, so of course, it is good to be friends with China,? she said.
“Domestically, the Philippines has a very vibrant Filipino-Chinese community for whom increased business dealings with China is very natural. And fifth, infrastructure will be very important for the Philippines in the coming years, and there is no country in the world that matches China?s recent track record and capability in this area,? she said.
She said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed mega free trade agreement between the member states of ASEAN, including the Philippines, and six Asia-Pacific states, including China, will provide the impetus for the trade tension.
?With China?s participation, the proposed RCEP will be the world?s largest trading bloc. Combined with the Belt and Road Initiative, China is gearing into the next stage of its development,” she added.
The BFA Youth Summit is a yearly summit that invites political leaders, specialists and scholars across Hong Kong, Mainland China and other countries to offer valuable perspectives on Asian economic trends, youth development, education, technology, creativity and innovation. This year?s theme is ?40 years of Reform and Opening Up: China and the World? to highlight the need for young people to jointly participate in building a community through economical, technological, cultural and educational links.
Arroyo, a member of the BFA Board, brought ten Filipino youth to the summit to gain valuable insights on the tremendous growth in China to inspire them to be create positive change for growth in their respective communities. The youth also went to Guangzhou in Mainland China to witness its remarkable growth.