BEIJING - China and the Philippines will endeavor to double their trade volume to reach $60 billion in five years, Vice Premier Wang Qishan said on Wednesday.
"China and the Philippines should tap their cooperation potential, expand trade volume, optimize the composition of imports and exports and make efforts to bring bilateral trade to $60 billion by 2016," Wang said while addressing a China-Philippines economic and trade forum on Wednesday.
The forum coincided with Philippine President Benigno Aquino's first state visit to China since he took office last year.
China-Philippines trade amounted to $27.7 billion in 2010, making China the third largest trade partner of the Philippines.
With the progress of the China-ASEAN free trade zone, which was established in 2010, as well as policy initiatives carried out in both countries, China and the Philippines are embracing new opportunities of cooperation, Wang said.
"I invite the Chinese community to take part in this opportunity to invest in an emerging economic force in the South East Asia," Aquino told an audience of about 600 government leaders and business executives from the two countries.
Wang echoed Aquino's call, saying China will encourage strong businesses to invest in the Philippines and play a part in infrastructure construction.
Aquino said his administration is devoted to instilling a culture of transparency and integrity in government, pledging Chinese businesses will have a level playing field.
Wang said the Chinese government will work with the Philippine government to create a favorable environment for the business community.
The trade forum is the first event of Aquino's five-day visit to China after he landed in Beijing Tuesday night.
Aquino is scheduled to hold talks with President Hu Jintao Wednesday afternoon.