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China and the Philippines sign trade and infrastructure agreements

China and the Philippines have signed 29 trade agreements covering oil and gas exploration; trade and investment; banking and finance and other areas, including activity under China's 'belt and road' programme.03 Dec 2018

Phillippines presidential office Malacañang Palace published seven of the 29 agreements, including agreements on infrastructure, agriculture, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges. According to a Philippines news services Rappler.com, the MOU said all negotiations “will be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of both governments”.

China and the Phillipines will establish a  joint steering committee and entrepreneurial working groups to be composed of government officials, agencies, and representatives from companies authorised by the two governments.

In a 'Memorandum of understanding on cooperation on the belt and road initiative between Philippines and China', the two countries agreed to cooperate in areas of infrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, energy and "other areas of mutual interest" and there will be investment and financial support for belt and road projects and programmes, with the purpose of linking economies with other countries along the silk trade route.

In the 'Infrastructure cooperation program between the Philippines and China', China and the Philippines agreed to encourage companies to cooperate on important railway, transport, telecommunications, road and bridge projects in the Philippines.

Infrastructure expert Cecilia Hu of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said, "These agreements will furnish a variety of opportunities for Chinese investors and contractors in the infrastructure, transportation and energy sector to explore their business in Philippines."

Last week, China signed a series of strategic cooperation agreements under the belt and road initiative with southeast Asian countries in APEC summit.

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