President Hu Jintao said in Manila Thursday that the Sino-Philippine trade volume may reach US$30 billion in five years, more than double the present level.
Hu made the prediction in a speech at a banquet hosted by the local Chinese community on the sidelines of his state visit to the Philippines. He is to conclude his two-day visit later Thursday.
China and the Philippines established their full diplomatic relations 30 years ago. Trade and economic relations have been growing very fast over the past several years.
Two-way trade in 2004 reached US$13.3 billion, up 31 percent over the previous year.
"If the current growth trend is to continue, we are confident that our goal of bringing it beyond US$30 billion before 2010 can be achieved," Hu said.
China and the Philippines have had fruitful cooperation in the fields of agriculture, fishery, infrastructure, mineral resource development and tourism, according to Hu.
Lately, the two countries have successfully cooperated in a project to grow Chinese hybrid rice and corn in the Philippines on a trial basis. Hu said the trial has been successful and more such rice and corn are being grown in wider areas of the Philippines.
Chinese-contracted Northrail project in the Philippines is now under way. Hu said both sides are making efforts to turn it into "a new symbol of friendly relations and cooperation."
China and the Philippines have also taken the lead in launching joint development in the South China Sea.
"President (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo and I are both of the view that we should, in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, deepen cooperation in the political, trade, economic, cultural, security and other fields in an all-round way, push for the establishment of a strategic cooperative relationship for peace and development," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2005)