China International Fair for Investment and Trade at Xiamen, Fujian Province in southeast China. Inaugurated on September 8, it will end on September 11 (WEI YAO)
International economic cooperation can be greater, more extensive and more intensive after a pandemic if adequate political decisions and initiatives are taken, former President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic said in a video message on September 8 at the inauguration of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen in southeast China.
"No one in the world has or can have a monopoly of development and progress," Nikolic said, adding that Serbia, the guest country of honor at CIFIT last year, will find a way to continue successful cooperation and improve overall Sino-Serbian relations.
John Paul Inigo, Special Trade Representative of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center, told Beijing Review they hope CIFIT will show Chinese investors that the Philippines is a very good investment destination. The Philippines is CIFIT’s guest country of honor this year.
"We are very confident in the Chinese business environment," Inigo said.
He added that relations between China and the Philippines became closer after President Rodrigo Duterte's first visit to China in 2016. In 2019, China became the Philippines' top trading partner, top import source and third biggest export market with the bilateral trade valued at $35.3 billion. In 2019, Philippine exports to China grew by 11.32 percent to $9.8 billion while imports from China increased to $25.5 billion, a 15.81-percent growth.
At CIFIT's International Investment Forum on September 8, Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines, said in a video message that with the Philippines and China sharing a long and rich history steeped in culture and trade, he was confident that with its participation in CIFIT, "the Philippines and China will develop an even stronger partnership amidst a better normal and healthier global environment in the coming years."
(Reporting from Xiamen)
Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar
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