Filipino exporters urged to tap China’s $954-billion minerals market

What can the Philippines sell to the world’s second largest economy? The question is being posed by most Filipino exporters who have not made a beach-head on mainland China, now rated the second biggest economy in the world, next to the United States, and nosing out Japan.

Several products which are considered in demand in China are mineral products like gold, copper, silver, chromite and nickel, of which the Philippines is richly endowed, as one of the most promising.

Minerals and fuels make up 11 percent of China’s yearly import bill last estimated at $954 billion or close to a billion.

In the case of mineral products, the growing Chinese demand is already felt ion the aggressive stance some Chinese exploration companies have been putting on stakes in mining projects in the Philippines.

The main obstacle to success in this area lies in known local resistance to mining projects that are yet to be proven environmentally-friendly.

Machinery and transport equipment also place in China’s top 10 imports. Although the country does not produce big volumes of vehicles and heavy machinery, it does export automotive parts and may have a niche in the Chinese market.

Another top import fall in the category of non-edible raw materials in which coconut choir, dried seaweeds, which are already exported in limited quantities, fall under. There is, however, a dearth of detailed information on what other raw materials China requires that could be produced in abundance in the Philippines.

China also imports huge quantities of pork and fruits.  The lack of information on what specific products to sell to China is equally true with other new free trade agreement partners the country like South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.