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Freeman Cebu Business

Chinese envoy vows assistance for Bohol

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Chinese government is determined to support the province of Bohol as the earthquake-stricken island has shown great potential to turn around in terms of growth.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua made this pronouncement in his recent visit to Bohol, saying the province's potential to grow in several industries like tourism, agriculture should not be overlooked and that his country is willing to assist whatever it can to pull up Bohol's economy.

The recovery and rehabilitation that has been achieved by the province in less than a year’s time after it was hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake has impressed the Chinese government and with that, Bohol can expect more assistance from China.

First, the Ambassador mentioned the strong interest of Chinese tourists to Bohol, specifically emphasized the Loboc River attraction as one of the popular destinations among the Chinese travelers.

"The Chinese government will support for more (Chinese) tourists to visit Bohol. Chinese people like the friendly people, beautiful scenery of Bohol," the Ambassador said.

In 2013, a total of 230 thousand Chinese tourists visited the Philippines, this is a 17 percent improvement from the previous year.

This figure is seen to climb some more, he said as the Philippines is becoming one of the preferred destinations for Chinese travelers, he added.

Likewise, the Chinese Ambassador mentioned his government's willingness to help in boosting Bohol's agriculture sector, noting the rich farmlands in the province, saying it surprised him to be told that Bohol is producing more rice than its neighboring provinces.

"China is a country with five thousand years of agri-development. We have practices and expertise. We would like to share these to farmers in Bohol," Zhao said.

The government of China will soon ink a cooperative deal with Bohol Province, led by Governor Edgar Chato to start off different cooperative projects, including sending some farmers to China to learn more about farming technology.

"The Chinese Embassy will continue to support (and initiate) sisterhood and exchanges of ideas, programs, and projects between Bohol and some provinces in China, he added.

Aside from tourism and agriculture, the Ambassador also vowed to extend further help in terms of disaster-preparedness technology to be shared with the Bohol government.

In a separate interview with Chato, he said that the province, while already out of the rehabilitation stage, is now starting to implement priority programs that will strengthen the economic backbone of the province.

Chato said the province had updated its development strides in eco- tourism and agriculture. Now, the province is also ready to host investments in Information, Communication and Technology, and outsourcing.  (FREEMAN)

BOHOL

BOHOL PROVINCE

CHATO

CHINESE

CHINESE AMBASSADOR

CHINESE EMBASSY

COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY

GOVERNOR EDGAR CHATO

LOBOC RIVER

PHILIPPINES ZHAO JIANHUA

PROVINCE

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