The Philippines needs to develop new overseas markets so that a maritime standoff with China, which has thrown relations into turmoil, does not take a toll on tourism and fruit exports, a senior official said on Thursday.
China has tightened quality controls on Philippine fruit and cut the number of tourist visits to the Philippines, moves which will likely have a limited impact on the economy, Arsenio Balisacan, the new economic planning secretary, told reporters.
He is the first member of the economic team to talk about the impact of the month-long standoff over a shoal in the South China Sea.
The dispute has fuelled concern in the region over China’s growing assertiveness in waters believed to be rich in oil and gas. China said on Thursday the Philippines had to send a clear signal if it wanted to repair relations.
“As of now, we are likely to see…
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