A platoon of Filipino businessmen will join President Bongbong Marcos’ state visit next week undeterred by the worsening Covid situation in China.
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A Bilyonaryo.com source said at least 80 businessmen have initially signed up to join Marcos’ trip to China from January 3 to 6.
The marquee names on the list include Ramon S. Ang (San Miguel Corp. president and CEO), Tessie Sy-Coson (BDO Unibank chairman), Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corp. chairman),Kevin Tan (Alliance Global CEO), Lucio “Hun Hun” Tan III (LT Group vice chairman and COO), and Michael Tan (LT Group president).
Other bilyonaryos in the Philippine delegation are Sabin Aboitiz (Presidential Adviser and Aboitiz Equity Ventures president and CEO), Jose Eduardo Antonio (Century Properties chairman), Eusebio Tanco (STI and Asia Terminals Inc. chairman), Francisco Tiu Laurel (Frabelle Foods owner), Benjamin Yao (SteelAsia chairman and CEO), Chinese restaurant king and miner Frank Lao, Aileen Uygongco-Ongkauko (La Filipina Uy Gongco Group executive director), Margaret Gaisano-Ang (Filipino Fund president, Metro Gaisano treasurer), Cecilio Pedro (Lamoiyan-Hapee group president and CEO), Jeffrey Ng (Cathay Steel and Cathay Land), Salvador “Buddy” Zamora (former PT&T chairman), and Davao-based businessman Samuel Uy.
Bilyonaryo executives Manuel V. Pangilinan (PLDT chairman) and Ernest Cu (Globe Telecom CEO) are also packing their bags to participate in the state visit.
Top business leaders flying to China are Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. president Henry Lim Bon Liong, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president George Barcelon and chairman emeritus Francis Chua.
Among the politiko bilyonaryos joining the trip are Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Senator Mark Villar and former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Crisologo Singson.
Malacanang said “a sizeable business delegation will be joining the President’s trip…and a number of major business deals are scheduled to be signed and finalized during the state visit.”
Business meetings are set to be held on January 4 and 5.
Malacanang expects between 10 and 14 bilateral government agreements to be signed covering cooperation in trade and investments, agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, development cooperation, people-to-people ties and maritime security cooperation.
Marcos accepted China President Xi Jinping’s invitation as early as July 2022. But China’s Covid cases have spiked n recent weeks after opening its borders to travel after three years of closure.
China will adopt a “bubble arrangement” to keep Marcos and his delegation safe from Covid. Malacanang has dropped the planned meeting with the Filipino community in Beijing to comply with China’s ban on large gatherings.
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