RP GROUP TO CHINA EXPO OK QUARANTINEShanghai, China, March 30, 2003 -- Speaker Jose de Venecia said yesterday he and the Philippine delegation to the first Philippine Trade Exhibition in Shanghai have agreed to quarantine for one week as a precaution against the spread of the RSBS virus. "I have already informed Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit about this decision. We are taking this step even if Shanghai is not affected," De Venecia said. De Venecia said there was no evidence of spreading infection in Shanghai, one of China's cleanest cities, and that the infection is in Southern China and Hong Kong. De Venecia and 12 congressmen are in Shanghai, joining officials from the Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Tourism, along with a media contingent for the first-ever exhibition of Philippine export products in the China, Asia's biggest market. "We are trying to achieve a breakthrough in the Chinese market of 1.2 billion people," he said. "We need a powerful new and creative strategy to penetrate the Chinese market, now the biggest in Asia." About 160 Philippine producers and exporters set up booths in Shanghai's Exhibition Center which is expected to be visited by more than 100,000 businessmen and producers. De Venecia gave credit to Manila Rep. Harry C. Angping, chairman of the House Committee on Trade and Industry and co-chair of the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the exhibit that showcases the best Philippine products and services. De Venecia urged Philippine business leaders to access 42,000 Chinese-Taiwanese joint venture factories and invite them to set up factories in the Visayas and Mindanao. He said that if Filipinos succeed in attracting just 1 percent of this figure, the Philippines would have 420 new factories that would dramatically boost Philippine exports, raise the country's industrial potential and create thousands of new jobs. China's export trade is about $260 billion a year, and the Philippines would have a tremendous boost if it can get even 1 percent of this figure in the amount of $2.6 billion. De Venecia also asked the Chinese government to consider having a Chinese airline open a direct Manila-Shanghai route to triple the arrivals of Chinese businessmen and trade officials. At present, Philippine Airlines has one flight daily to Shanghai. Philippine trade with China has grown at an annual rate of 8.56 percent and stands at $1.746 billion, Angping said.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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