MANILA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Investors from the Philippines and China's Fujian province have signed 15 cooperation and joint venture agreements covering industry, agriculture tourism, and real estate collaboration, the Philippines' trade secretary said on Tuesday.
Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement that these agreements were signed on Sept. 14 during a business networking conference in Manila between Philippine and Fujian delegation led by Fujian Governor Tang Dengjie.
Both sides have also agreed on a deal on Philippine bananas amounting to 10.78 million U.S. dollars, Lopez said.
Lopez added that both sides are now exploring more business opportunities to further strengthen their economic ties.
The Fujian government initiated the high-level conference where both sides discussed trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines as well as the Philippine government's commitment to facilitate ease of doing business in the country.
Lopez said the Philippines has strong historical ties with southeast China's Fujian Province and its people.
"Our proximity with each other has attracted so many Fujian investors to do business in the country and partner with other Filipino business groups," Lopez said, adding that some of the known tycoons trace their origins from Fujian.
"And now that we have renewed our relationship with China, we can push further our collaboration in enhancing trade and investment relations that would have mutual benefits for both parties," Lopez said.
Lopez encouraged the Fujian investors to locate and expand their operations in the Philippines, saying the Philippines is a gateway to ASEAN market and the East Asian economies.
Lopez also invited Fujian business delegation, particularly those from the construction and engineering industries, to participate in the ongoing infrastructure development program of the government and employ Filipino professionals.
Fujian province, situated on China's southeast coast, was the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, which figures prominently in China's opening to the outside world.