MANILA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez lauded China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on Monday, calling it "the single largest enterprise in human history" that will bring the Asian economies closer together.
"The vision for a new Silk Road will enhance trade linkages, open seamless links for investment and reshape the global economy for the new century," Dominguez said in a speech during the Philippines-China (Chongqing) Trade and Investment Forum held in Manila.
"China has moved forward with the single largest enterprise in human history: the Belt and Road initiative," Dominguez said with the presence of a visiting Chongqing Municipality business delegation.
He said the initiative, backed by China's tremendous financial and technological prowess, involves a massive investment in the future, building the infrastructure that will bring the Asian economies closer together.
Dominguez said the Philippines fully supported BRI, citing the initiative's "vast economic potential for all nations of the regions and beyond." "Improved infrastructure will enhance trade among our economies.
Enhanced trade will encourage more efficient investment flows. Improved connectivity will enhance the inclusiveness of our growth patterns. We have everything to gain from this," he said.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, is aimed at building a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with other parts of the world along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
Dominguez said the Philippines has adopted a more forward-looking policy towards China. The Philippines also has a massive infrastructure modernization program known as Build, Build, Build.
"We understand the great synergy that will be generated by the closer partnership between our two countries. We look forward to more partnerships at ground level, at the level of individual enterprises, and shared wealth-creation," he said.
Moreover, the finance secretary said the opportunities that unite the Philippines and China "are far greater than the issues where we might have some differences."
Dominguez believed the economies of the Philippines and China complement each other in many ways, as the Philippines has "demographic sweet spot" with a large wave of young people entering the workforce.
Indeed, he said the relationship between the two countries "has never been warmer than it is today (and) has never been as productive and as optimistic."
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, China was also the Philippines' largest source of imports and the fourth largest export market in 2018.
"We look forward to even closer cooperation as we build the best possible future for our two peoples," Dominguez concluded.