Philippines' infrastructure program "works in concert" with Belt and Road Initiative: finance secretary
Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has said that the Philippines' infrastructure "Build, Build, Build" program "works in concert" with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Proposed by China in 2013, the initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.
The Department of Finance of the Philippines released a statement on Thursday, quoting Dominguez as saying the Philippines has China to thank for its generous support that has "greatly helped push our infrastructure projects forward."
Dominguez said the Philippines "looks forward to a seamless network for the flow of goods, the exchange of best practices and boundless cooperation in the coming years."
The "Build, Build, Build" program, which was rolled out by the Duterte administration in 2017, intends to spend 8 to 9 trillion pesos (roughly 160 to 180 billion U.S. dollars) in the medium term on building roads, bridges, airports, seaports and railways in the Philippines.
The economy of the Philippines and China are "leading the region in growth," Dominguez said, adding that both economies "demonstrated resiliency in the face of global challenges."
"With our increased cooperation, we can better defy the adverse developments at the global level and continue our rapid expansion to benefit our peoples," he added.
China showed interests in the Philippines' infrastructure modernization program and has signed several foreign-funded loan agreements with the southeast Asian country on its infrastructure projects.
Dominguez also expressed his confidence in the future of China's economy.
"(With) the rest of the region depending much on China's impressive growth, we are confident this great nation will continue its remarkable economic transformation," Dominguez said.