MANILA, Philippines - Fifteen Chinese companies expressed interest in partnering with Filipino agribusiness firms amid the ongoing tussle between Manila and Beijing on the ownership of Kalayaan Islands.
The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture spearheaded the China (Liaoning)-Philippines Agriculture Trade and Investment Promotion Forum held in Manila on Thursday.
“We are here to promote agricultural cooperation between China and the Philippines,” said Li Zihu, deputy director of Liaoning Province Committee of Rural Economy.
AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) President Antonio Tiu said the Chinese government sought the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to organize the forum. “Around 15 companies participated in the forum. They are here to find local [agribusiness] partners,” said Tiu at the sidelines of the forum.
The head of ANI noted that it is the first time for the 15 companies from Liaoning province to visit the Philippines.
He said Chinese companies involved in agribusiness have the money and resources, but there is a scarcity of farmlands in China. “Here in the Philippines, we have enough farmlands, but we lack the investments to make those lands productive,” said Tiu.
Representatives and companies involved in dried-mango production, fisheries, cold storage, production of spices and rice production attended the forum.
Asked whether the companies are interested in leasing lands, Tiu said leasing lands is no longer a major consideration for the companies that attended the forum.
Among the Chinese companies that partici-pated in the forum are Beidahuang Group of Companies, Liaoyang Sansen Grain Trade Co. Ltd., Tieling Eastern-Growing Food Co., Chuangtu Country Furfural Factory and Linyi Xiang Hui Food Co. Ltd.