Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivers a keynote speech at the Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation held in Manila. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)
It’s fitting that today scholars describe the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as “Globalization 2.0”, former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in her keynote speech at Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation, which kicked off on July 26 in Manila, capital of the Philippines.
“I appreciate that China is now developing into a powerful advocate for safeguarding and developing an open world economy. This is significant in the face of the rise of anti-globalization in favor of old-style nationalism,” Arroyo said at the forum, which attracted over 200 dignitaries, experts and industry leaders from China and the Philippines.
“Scholars point out that ‘Globalization 2.0’ is more about investment, infrastructure and development rather than just trade in the old times”, noted Arroyo, who said that the BRI is “China’s broadest platform for collaboration and cooperation”.
Pointing out that trade and investments relationships, such as those governed by regional agreements, are like the software that provide a framework for world trade and investments, Arroyo added, “but we also need the hardware, and this is where the Belt and Road Initiative comes in to provide the brick and mortar infrastructures, without which international trade and investments cannot flourish.”
“The Belt and Road Initiative fits in very nicely with the Philippines’ ‘Build, Build, Build’ project,” said Arroyo, stressing that the Philippines can play a role in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and that “some China-funded infrastructure projects have already started in the Philippines.”
“From the point of view of the Philippines, as an economist and former president, I dare say that we would greatly appreciate and benefit from increased flows of capital and technology from China, in areas ranging from agriculture to digital advancements,” said Arroyo.
Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation held in Manila. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)
Aiming to promote people-to-people as well as economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between China and the Philippines, the Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation consisted of a main forum and three sub-forums on think tank and media dialogue, infrastructure cooperation, and culture and health industry cooperation respectively.
The forum was jointly hosted by China Public Diplomacy Association and Presidential Communications Operations Office of the Philippines, co-organized by Global Times Online and Confucius Institute at the Ateneo De Manila University, and supported by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Philippine Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce, and LKK Health Products Group, while the Embassy of China in the Republic of the Philippines also offered special support for the forum.
The forum held in Manila was the first stop of the Belt and Road-themed forum series on people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation between China and Southeast Asian countries. Each of the forums comprises of a main forum and several sub-forums on different subjects.