PHL lauds Chinese President Xi for success of Belt and Road Initiative

BEIJING– The Philippine government lauded Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping for the success of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a high-profile economic event here attended by 29 world leaders including President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs described the Belt and Road Initiative as a “bold and fresh undertaking” and said the Philippines shares Xi’s view of the need for a “peaceful environment” to achieve developmental goals.

For the first time, the Philippines participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which was officially opened Sunday by Xi.

In his speech, Xi described his flagship Belt and Road as a “bridge for peace, a road to prosperity, a way to boost inclusive growth and balanced development, and to promote equality.”

“The Philippines was pleased to hear that the Belt and Road Initiative is meant to help developing countries create more opportunities for growth and uplift the lives of people, which is also the thrust of the Duterte administration,” the DFA said.

During the two day-meet, President Duterte and his economic managers will get the chance to exchange ideas with their counterparts, explain the administration’s economic vision for the Philippines, and see how it can be aligned with the Initiative “on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual benefit”.

The government also welcomed the overarching goal of the initiative which is to complement other countries’ respective development strategies.

“The Philippines hopes that the One Belt One Road Initiative could be one of the international cooperation initiatives that will contribute to our shared benefit,” the statement read.

The Philippines’ participation in the initiative complements the administration’s massive trillion-peso infrastructure program dubbed as “Build, Build, Build” that would usher in the country’s “golden age of infrastructure” in the next five years.

“For the Philippines, connectivity projects should complement and support Philippine development priorities, the Philippine Development Plan, the President’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda, and the ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity,” it added.

The initiative will launch a series of infrastructure projects across three continents, linking Asian markets with economic circles in Europe and Africa.

Source: Philippines News Agency