Duterte heads home from China with $24 billion deals

Willard Cheng ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2016 04:44 PM

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) is shown the way by Chinese President Xi Jinping before a signing ceremony held in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. Reuters/Ng Han Guan/Pool

BEIJING - President Rodrigo Duterte returns home from China on Friday with an estimated $24 billion in investment and loan pledges, after a crucial visit that restored to normal level the relations between Manila and Beijing.

These include at least $5.5-billion for transportation and infrastructure, $1 billion for a hydroelectric power plant, $700 million for a steel plant, and $780 million for a port development project in Davao City that are expected to generate 2.6 million jobs.

The visit was "highly successful in renewing friendship and economic relationships," Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said, describing the pledges as "Parang gripo yan na nabuksan (It's like opening a faucet)."

Bank of China has committed $3 billion for a credit line for Filipino businesses, including small and medium enterprises, said Francis Chua, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday and said relations that have been strained by disputes in the South China Sea have entered "springtime."

While in Beijing, Duterte also announced a "separation" between the Philippines and its long-time ally, the United States.

Aside from the trade deals, China also lifted an advisory to its citizens on travel to the Philippines, lifted restrictions on Philippine exports, and agreed to restore diplomatic and defense dialogue.

The agreements that will be signed before the President leaves Beijing for Davao City late Friday are:

-- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worth $3 billion between MVP Global Infrastructure group and Suli Group Ltd. to build cabling manufacturing facilities

-- MOU worth $2.5 billion between China Railway Engineering Corp. (CREC) and MVP Global Infrastructure group

-- MOA between Greenergy Development Corp. and Power China Guizhou Engineering Corp. for the development of the 300MW Pulangui-5 Hydro Project worth $1 billion

-- Agreement between Zonar Systems and Power China Sino Hydro for a nationwide island provinces link bridges for sustained development worth $800 million

-- MOU between Mega Harbour Port and Development, Inc. and China Harbour Engineerig Co. Ltd. (CHEC) for the Davao coastline port development project worth $780 million

-- Memorandum of agreement between Global Ferronickel, Inc. and Baiyin International Investment Ltd. for a $500 million to $700 million steel plant

-- MOU between Sino Hydro and Zonar Construct on the Pasig River Marikina River Manggahan Floowdway bridges construction projects worth $600 million

-- MOU between Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc. and CCCC Dredging Company (CDC) for the Cebu International and Bulk Terminal Project worth $328 million

-- Agreement between One White Beach Land Development Corp. and Sino Hydro for the Ambal Simuay Sub-river Basin of the Mindanao river basin flood control project worth $325 million

-- Letter of investment between Zhuhai Granton Bus and Coach Company for a $300-million manufacturing facility

-- Strategic cooperation agreement between Manage Resources Trading Corporation and SIIC Shanghai International Trade Hong Kong for a $200 million steel manufacturing plant

-- Cooperation agreement between SL Agritech Group and Jiangsu Hongqi Seed Co. Ltd. worth $160 million to produce hybrid rice for two million hectares of rice fields

-- MOU between R-II Builders, Inc. and China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd (CHEC) for the $148-million Manila Harbour Center Reclamation Project

-- MOU between Philippine State Group of Companies, Yangtse Motor Group Ltd. and Minmetals International (HK) Ltd. for the $100-million EDSA bus program

-- MOU for joint development projects worth $100 million in renewable energy, major infrastructure and real estate between Colombus Capitana and China CAMCE Engineering Co. Ltd.

-- MOU between AVLP Asia Pacific Conglomerate, Inc. and the Shanghai Xinwo Agriculture Development Co. Ltd for a $100-million for a banana plantation project

-- MOU between TBEA Xinjing Sunoasis Co. Ltd, Trademaster Resources Corp. and Servequest Inc. for renewable energy.