China-PH trade seen to slow down due to novel coronavirus – former official

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines – The current outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) is likely to slow down trade between the Philippines and China.

China is one of the top importers and exporters of various products not only to the Philippines but across the globe.

According to former Trade Undersecretary now president of consumer group, Laban Konsyumer, Atty. Vic Dimagiba, trade relations between the two countries are facing hurdles especially in terms of food shipment as the Bureau of Quarantine is enforcing stricter measures on entry of products from China.

Among them are garlic, onions, canned and processed goods as well as flour-based products such as noodles.

Several brands of herbal medicines being sold in the Philippines are also from China.

I guess na may slow down sa kalakalang export at import sa Philippines and China, (I guess there will be a slowdown of trade, export and import between the Philippines and China),” Dimagiba said.

Such development may reflect a huge impact on major infrastructure projects that the Chinese government agreed with the Philippine government such as the Kaliwa Dam considering the limitations on travel of Chinese workers to the country.

“Hindi naman niya ititigil ang proyekto. Idedelay lang (China will not cancel the project but surely, it will delay the construction), the former official said.

But Dimagiba said the Philippines will surely bounce back once it discovers a treatment for nCoV.

As a rule naman ang (As a rule, the) global economy is very resilient,” he said.

Pagka naka-recover na in the sense na under control na ang epidemic na yan babawi din agad ang ating economy (Once the country recovers, in the sense that the epidemic is under control, our economy will also recover),” he added.

However, if the situation goes out of hand and the virus further spreads, the country may not be able to cope with only limited resources and shortage of face mask that are actually imported from China. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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