- Written by ASIA Miner News
There has been plenty of talk in recent years about the potential for mining to play a greater role in the Philippines' economy and it seems that greater involvement from China may see this realized.
This will result in China gaining access to the more of the resources required to feed its growth but is also a win-win for the people of the Philippines.
Chinese investment in mining will help ensure that new mining projects proceed and existing projects expand, creating more jobs, more exports and enhancing the country's GDP. It will also result in value-added opportunities for the Philippines and lead to improved infrastructure for the benefit of everyone.
China's ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao told a recent gathering of businessmen in Manila that China's development “harms no one and threatens no one, and is never a cost to other countries, but rather an opportunity to them,” including in areas such as mining, infrastructure and renewable energy.
He stated that China will remain a huge market, a source of investment and a helping hand.
The Philippines is in a very good position to satisfy China's need for resources owing to its proximity and its relatively untapped minerals potential, particularly in nickel, copper and gold.
GDP growth increased to 8% in the first half of 2010, exports increased 37.4% in the same period and the stock exchange index has increased by more than 30% in 2010.
There are still some issues to overcome, including environmental concerns, regional instability in some areas, lack of infrastructure and the unwillingness of foreign investors to become involved but the government is aware of these and is prepared to work at all levels to create a stronger, more sustainable mining industry.
One of the countries it is keen to work with, recognizing the benefits of doing so and the flow of investment that will follow, is China and Liu Jianchao's address indicated China's willingness to reciprocate.
The ambassador indicated his country’s willingness and ability to construct modern infrastructure, including railways, in the Philippines and strengthen cooperation in the field.
He said that the Chinese Government supported Chinese companies that engaged in constructing hydropower dams, biomass power plants, wind turbines and solar panels, “to supply sustainable energy and give our next generation a blue sky”.
Chinese companies were also willing to cooperate in minerals processing, which, he said, could provide employment opportunities for the people and add tax revenues to the government.
“The Chinese government sees the China-Philippines relationship from a long term and strategic perspective. Our relationship is strong and we want to make it stronger.”