Senator Win Gatchalian on Saturday backed the Duterte administration’s decision to participate in China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, highlighting the program’s potential to boost infrastructure development in the Philippines and foster inclusive economic growth throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region.
President Rodrigo Duterte is one of more than two dozen world leaders scheduled to travel to Beijing for the ‘One Belt, One Road’ forum on May 14-15.
“China’s Belt and Road initiative is poised to create exciting international trade opportunities for participating countries. This will open new doors for the Philippines, giving us the chance to enter new markets and foster more meaningful trade relations with countries outside of our normal sphere of influence,” said Gatchalian, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.
The Belt and Road initiative is a mammoth trade and commerce plan launched by the Chinese government to stimulate economic growth and development across Asia and beyond through the construction of a sophisticated network of infrastructure in participating countries. It is being promoted by the Chinese as the modern version of the fabled Silk Road, which facilitated the early globalization of trade centuries ago.
Projected to add $2.5 trillion of annual trade value by 2025, the Belt and Road initiative is the largest global economic development plan undertaken in human history.
“The Belt and Road initiative will help the Philippines achieve its long term socio-economic vision by complementing the Duterte administration’s timely ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure policy. More than that, ‘One Belt, One Road’ is a vision to democratize wealth and progress among developing nations. It is the type of plan that can transform a developing country into a developed one in the span of only one generation. Participating in this initiative is the right move for the Philippines,” said Gatchalian.