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Bulacan, Philippines: Business: News: 01 Oct 2010 - Ties Between Zhejiang, Bulacan Strengthened
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Ties Between Zhejiang, Bulacan Strengthened
By: PCEDO
Friday, 01 October 2010
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Despite the resentment of some Chinese to the Filipinos caused by unjustifiable killing of 8 Hongkong nationals in the tragic hostage incident last August 23, 2010, Zhejiang officials were not prevented from visiting the Philippines.

Five-member delegation from Provincial Foreign Affairs Office of Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China led by Mr. Lu Guohao, Deputy Director General of Foreign Affairs Department visited Bulacan last September 7, 2010 in the height of said issue.

Their visit aims to renew and strengthen its sisterhood with the province of Bulacan which started in August 2006 during the time of former Gov. Josie Dela Cruz.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado together with other officials of the Bulacan Provincial Government, officers and members of Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCCI) and the Department of Trade and Industry cordially welcomed the Zhejiang delegation.

In the welcome program prepared for them, Governor Alvarado on his speech said Chinese people is very close to his heart because of their Chinese blood origins which manifests in his surname Sy-Alvarado.

Gov. Alvarado told Chinese that Bulacan figures prominently in Philippine history as cradle of noble heroes who fought for independence against foreign invaders. Bulacan particularly the Barasoain Church in Malolos is the seat of first Philippine Republic and the venue where former President Estrada took his oath as elected head of the country in 2001.

“We are very grateful for visiting us to renew our ties with Zhejiang as we have many similarities and complementarities in terms of economic growth that could be a good opportunity in carrying out exchanges in the fields of economy, trade, technology, culture and tourism” Gov. Alvarado said.

Zhejiang province with 51.8 million populations ranked number four among China provinces in terms of gross domestic product while Bulacan also with huge population of 3 million considering its small land area figures notably for topping the provinces with highest income.

Zhejiang covers a total continental area of 104,116 square kilometers while Bulacan has a total land area of 2,774.85 square kilometers.

“The partnership between us and Zhejiang, which was started by my predecessor will be kept stronger as we renew our ties today”, the governor assured.

As a response, Deputy Director General Guohao expressed their gratitude to the officials of Bulacan for showing their hospitality. They were able to experience dancing with Bulacan officials in a cultural presentation staged by Lahing Kayumanggi.

“Zhejiang is one of the richest provinces in China with an annual GDP of US$334 billion, per capita income of US$6,490 for the year 2009 and is home to some of the biggest Chinese brands such as food giant – Wahaha Group, internet B2B company – Alibaba, and car manufacturer – Geely” said Guohao.

In his parting speech, Guohao invited the Bulacan officials and the members of the BCCI to visit their province as sign of reciprocity and continuing friendship.

It would be remembered that the agreement gave an opportunity for Bulacan to join the Philippine Trade, Investment and Tourism Forum in Jangzhou City on March 2008. The forum was organized by the by the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai, in cooperation with the Zhejiang Sub-Council of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

The agreement also gave birth to the signing of another Cooperation Agreement between the BCCI and CCPIT Zhejiang Sub-Council. The cooperation aims to encourage the development of Bulacan and Zhejiang trade relations.

Violeta Luna, President of the BCCI told visitors that in November 2008, a delegation from their sister chamber CCPIT headed by Chairman Tie Jianshe was supposed to make a meeting with them but their party was caught in a siege that paralyzed their connecting flight from Bangkok.

“Our Chamber is at present working on areas of trade relations. Local retailers association is interested in directly sourcing merchandise that used to go through middlemen. We are enabling even our small retailers to expand their sources and markets”, said Luna.

“Today’s effort opens another door for better understanding. May this be the start of the healing of the wounds of the unfortunate hostage incident that caused unnecessary strain in the relations of our people. Please bring home with you the truth that Filipinos are peace-living and that the Chinese are most welcome in our country”, Luna added.

If the Provincial Government of Bulacan has its sisterhood agreement with Zhejiang Province of China and BCCI has agreement of cooperation with CCPIT Zhejiang Sub Council, the University of Regina Carmeli in Malolos City has also a separate cooperative agreement with Zhejiang Gongshang University which was formalized on October 15, 2007.

Madeline B. Penilla, URC International Relations Directror reported that their university took the first move in sending a 14 member-delegation to ZGU for the Spoken English Promotion Project (SEPP) from Spoken English Promotion Project (SEPP) from October 13 – November 3, 2007 for 21 days.

As the agreement works on the principle of mutuality, the ZGU responded by sending students and faculty to the URC for the Spoken Chinese Promotion Project (SCPP) last January 18 to February 5, 2008.

“Successful in the implementation of initial program, exchanges of students and professors between the two universities continue in 2008 and more cooperation agreements are hope to realize in the future for both parties like the establishment of China Study Center in the name of Confucius Institute”, Penilla reported.

Arlene Pascual, Department Head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office briefed the Chinese delegates about the economic profile of Bulacan.

Dir. Gen. Guohao was accompanied by Chen Yanqin, Ding Yayun, Xu Qingyun and Yang Xuemei who all represent Zhejiang Foreign Affairs Department.

By:
Jerry C. Caguingin
PCEDO - IPU

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