Philippines urged to roll out more infrastructure projects, security assistance with China

By Charmie Joy Pagulong

Xiamen, China – A senior advisor at the World Bank has urged the Philippine government to make use of China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) Initiative by rolling out more infrastructure projects and national security assistance with China. 

Dr. John Vong, senior advisor of the World Bank’s Southeast Asia Region and founder and chairman of the International Conference for Managing the Asian Century (ICMAC), told The STAR that the Philippines and China should work together in those two major areas that could contribute to the “Rise of Asia” and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

“The Philippine workforce is very skillful already. What is needed now is for China to help the Philippines build infrastructure in their country and get help from the Chinese police academy in the matters of national security, if the Philippines will allow it,” he said during the 2018 ICMAC Conference held in this Chinese province last July 6-7.

“Infrastructure is the way for the Philippines with China because it has many islands. The Philippines need to have connectivity and establish chain with these islands, and that is the way to connect,” he added. 

Vong also cited the “Rise of Asia” vision under the OBOR framework, encouraging entrepreneurs from ASEAN (Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei) and China to contribute to the rise of Asia through trade and economics. 

 ICMAC, he said, is a platform to build and promote ASEAN and China relations in the three key fields of study for the development of the “Rise of Asia” – education, biotechnology and financial services. 

Themed “Linking The Belt and Road with Smart Biotech,” this year’s ICMAC summit focused on advanced concepts and latest achievements, advanced technology and products and medical equipment, biotechnology investment market, potential investment orientations in Xiamen. The discussions emphasized how “Asian nations collaborate on developing inventions and digital innovations for growth across Asia.” 

 Government and medical representatives, entrepreneurs, science enthusiasts, and management experts from Asia and other countries attended the two-day event held at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Xiamen to exchange ideas and promote the prosperity of the biotechnology industry in Asia under the OBOR initiative. 

 The event also boosted Xiamen’s tourism industry and smart biotech as a booming business at the Haicang district. 

Xiamen City was elevated to Tier 1 status in 2017 due to its rapid progress and innovation. As one of the four original special economic zones in China and part of the Fujian Free Trade Zone, the city boasts the seventh largest container port in China (top 15 in the world) and placed sixth among the Top 100 E-Commerce Cities in China.ICMAC was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Singapore. The organization focuses on smart nations, smart cities, smart innovations, technology and finance, education and information technology.