Outgoing Philippine president hails fruitful ties with China

17:00, June 10, 2010      

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Outgoing Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo vowed to continue working on strengthening the country's diplomatic ties with China even after her term ends on June 30.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday after her two-day visit to Shanghai, Arroyo said both countries have already reached the " Golden Age of Friendship" and expressed optimism that the relationship will remain robust in the years to come.

China and the Philippines have helped each other in boosting their respective economy.

Investments made by Filipino-Chinese businessmen in China have reached 2.6 billion pesos (55.81 million U.S. dollars) while the Chinese investments in the Philippines have gone up to as much as 950 million U.S. dollars, Arroyo said.

China is also among Philippines' biggest source of official development assitance and tourist arrivals averaging an annual growth of 43 percent, she added.

Bilateral relations between the two countries had grown 100 folds since 1975 when diplomatic ties were first established, she said, adding that trade between the two countries has reached 3 billion U.S. dollars from 20 million U.S. dollars.

"We are family...Over the past 35 years, we have witnessed the improvement of our ties. But the ties of friendship, the interactions and experiences predate the establishment of our relations by many centuries," Arroyo said.

Arroyo attended a gala show in Shanghai to celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Manila and Beijing.



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