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MBC Still Presses US Relations Despite Stronger PH-CHN Ties

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MANILA, Philippines –  The Makati Business Club (MBC) shows support to Philippines’ stronger China ties, but stresses the need to maintain solid US relations.

The influential group of conglomerates welcomed PH-CHN ties, especially in amending the countries’ relations due to dispute over West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

MBC stated that both countries will gain from the relations through trade and investment. With Philippines’ steady rise in economy, China will benefit from much closer ties.

Infrastructure expertise of China is expected to furnish development of the Philippines. Among numerous agreements involving China firms include big-ticket projects in the country.

Investments between the countries have been taking place, including Philippines’ capital of $75 million in China as of 2012. As of 2015, China has a capital of $570,000 in the country, which is anticipated to increase after the state visit. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave indication of higher Chinese investments when basket of gross international reserves welcomed China’s Renminbi.

MBC Reminds Duterte Administration of US Solid Ties

MBC may have welcomed PH-CHN ties, but this does not mean the conglomerates support the government distancing from United States.

United States, being a longtime ally of the country, should continue to have growing partnership with the Philippines, claimed by the business group.

MBC even added that 12.7% of Philippines total trade comes from United States, which makes it the country’s third largest trader.

United States also contributes largely in the Philippines’ business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. As of 2015, United States imparted 1.2 million jobs, which comprise $22 billion economic returns.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittances from United States value at $8.4 billion, which is equivalent to 33% of worldwide sourced remittances.

Investments from United States are worth $732 million as of 2015.

American tourist receipts totaled to P4.4 billion, making United States as second large tourists market.

MBC also highlighted US donations worth more than $90 million, which is just an addition to the country’s technical and workforce support for Yolanda (Haiyan) disastrous aftermaths.

Since 2006, MBC cited human development and anti-poverty movements are backed by United States. The foreign country’s Millenium Challenge Corporation gave $433 million to support the program.

Duterte Administration on Cutting US Ties

President Duterte announced cutting off economic and military ties with United States during his China state visit. This caused stir across the world, but the leader later clarified that this is not complete severance of relations.

Department of Trade and Industry’s Secretary, Ramon Lopez, supported the President’s statement by adding the country will simply become independent on policies. The shift is focused on the Philippines’ betterment.

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