Philippine exports to China have "increased significantly" during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Trade and Industry said late Tuesday, attributing the result to Duterte's independent foreign policy stance.
During a meeting at the presidential palace, Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Philippine exports to China reached 9.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, witnessing an increase of 59 percent in four years.
"From January to June 2021, our export to China reached 5.5 billion U.S. dollars or an increase of 34 percent compared to the same period in 2020," he added.
"China has widely accepted our export products, making it easy for our products to enter the Chinese market," Lopez said.
Meanwhile, Chinese investments kept pouring into the Philippines during the Duterte administration, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding the Philippines gained from Duterte's independent foreign policy stance.
After Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016, he announced that his administration would pursue an independent foreign policy.
Lopez also said the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by 15 participating countries in November last year was "another good thing" during the Duterte administration.
"The RCEP is a historic free trade agreement," Lopez said.