Trade with China, Russia positive for PHL - Nobel Laureate winner

GMA News Online
January 11, 2017

Developing trade relations with China and Russia could be positive not only for Philippine output but also the global economy, a Nobel Laureate in Economics said Wednesday.

"In the case of the Philippines, developing new trade partners could be a very good thing. Renegotiating doesn't mean reduced trade," Dr. Eric Stark Maskin, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics, said in a press conference at the De La Salle University in Manila City.

"There's a mixture of good and bad, a mixture of constructive and non-constructive," he added, noting that the constructive part is having new trade partners.

"I think it's always good to expand your set of trading partners. And if President Duterte wants to have more trade with China, I think that's good. It's good for the Philippines, it's good for China, it's good for the world," he said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he's ready to deal with China and Russia as his administration pushes for an independent foreign policy. Filipino and Chinese businessmen signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in December, that may eventually translate to $100 billion worth of infrastructure investments in the country.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also revealed that Russia wants to increase imports from the Philippines to $2.5 billion from $46 million in 2015. Asked for his comment on the efforts to alleviate poverty, Maskin said: "I applaud your President's concern for the poor."

Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) adopting the 25-year vision of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to eliminate poverty and hunger by 2040.

Maskin noted, however, that implementation is another matter. "Whether or not he actually succeeds in policies is another matter," he said. -- VS, GMA News