By Ellson Quismorio
Former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed her gratitude to the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) for providing the foundation for the continued friendship of the Philippines and China.
In her keynote speech during the 32nd Biennial Convention of the FFCCCII held at the Manila Hotel Tent over the weekend, Speaker Arroyo thanked the FFCCCII for supporting the initiatives of President Rodrigo Duterte by showing great synergy with the government, especially for the Marawi rehabilitation.
Quoting the words of Chinese President Xi Jingping, who made a state visit to the Philippines last November, Arroyo said it was “a community of shared future for mankind and inclusive win-win development.”
“He and President Duterte expressed a consensus that the sound development of Philippines-China relations serves the fundamental interest of the two people,” Arroyo said at the event, which carried the theme, “Building Synergies for Greater Progress.”
Since taking over as Chief Executive on June 30, 2016, Duterte has led a friendlier engagement with Beijing that has led to a $24-billion financial assistance pledge from the mainland, among others.
Arroyo said that this will be the background of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), which will be held in Manila this coming April 22 and 23, with the theme “Concerted Action For Common Development In The New Era.”
The forum will be sponsored by the FFCCCII.
The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is a non-profit organization that hosts a high-level forum for leaders from the government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in the dynamic region and the world at large.
Arroyo, who represents Pampanga’s 2nd district, said the conference aims to help visiting Chinese entrepreneurs better understand the business environment and related policies of the Philippines.
The BFA likewise aims to 1) introduce the BFA to the Philippine government and the business community, 2) implement important consensus reached by the top leaders of the two countries, and 3) strengthen the alignment of the belt and road initiative with the development strategies of the Philippines, Speaker Arroyo said.
Next week, Arroyo will be leaving for Hainan for her work as member of the Board in the annual BFA because the FFCCCII will coordinate a meeting with the BFA in China to finalize the Manila conference details.
“Thank you for going to Hainan to arrange the final details. Through such forums as Boao Manila, I hope more of our Filipino businessmen and workers whether of Chinese heritage or not, will increasingly benefit on the prosperity of China in the new era,” she said.
Arroyo said the FFCCCII has a great task to do in the next two years in contributing to the increasing involvement of Filipino businessmen and workers in the great prosperity of China in the new era.