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Philippine finance chief lauds China's continued support in infrastructure drive
Last Updated: 2018-05-16 13:18 | Xinhua
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The Philippine finance chief on Wednesday lauded China for the development assistance provided to the country particularly to the government's ongoing infrastructure modernization program.

"China has been a staunch and reliable friend at this time of our economic emergence, and we are grateful for this," Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a statement.

Dominguez said through a combination of soft loans and grants, China helped the Philippines jump-start the government's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program.

The "Build, Build, Build" program, which is designed to address the inadequacies in the country's infrastructure, will usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines, according to the Philippine government.

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte intends to spend 8 to 9 trillion pesos (160 to 180 billion U.S. dollars) in the medium term. As a share of gross domestic product (GDP), the government estimates infrastructure spending to rise from 5.4 percent of GDP in 2017 to as high as 7.3 percent of GDP in 2022.

So far, Dominguez said, "things are moving as we anticipated," adding the 75 big-ticket strategic infrastructure investments that form the "Build, Build, Build" program are proceeding according to schedule.

He also thanked multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, which have helped fund infrastructure projects that aim to open new growth corridors in less developed areas of the Visayas in the central Philippines and Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

"The modern global economy is driven by connectedness. The better connected an economy is, the more competitive it will be. This is the reason the Duterte administration has made the Build, Build, Build program its centerpiece," Dominguez said.

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