The recent Recto Bank incident involving a Chinese vessel and a Philippine fishing boat has no effect on the trade relations between the two countries, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
In a press conference, Lopez said the issue involving the code of conduct in the sea is separate from business and trading.
“Hindi ko pa nakikitang may epekto. Tuloy tuloy ang ating trading (I don’t see any effect. Trading continues),” the trade chief said.
“I don’t see any effect. Trading continues.”
The trade head even noted stronger trading relations between Manila and Beijing.
“Lumalakas po, yung ating exports to China. Lumalaki nang mabilis. Ibig sabihin, fast-growth tayo dyan (Our exports to China are getting stronger and growing faster),” he said.
“Our exports to China are getting stronger.”
Lopez dismissed possible future concerns on trading in relation to the Recto Bank incident.
“Those issues on code of conduct concerning the West Philippine Sea will not have any impact on the commercial activities, in terms of exportation, in terms of importation. So there’s no impact because that’s more of political security, geopolitical issue, not really economic in nature,” he said.
At about midnight on June 9, a Chinese vessel hit and abandoned an anchored Philippine fishing boat with 22 fishermen on board near the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila denied the abandonment, saying the Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen “but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats.”