The Philippines and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during President Marcos’ state visit in Beijing with the aim of fostering cooperation on digital projects involving AI, 5G, cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, and other cutting-edge technologies.
The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Minister Jin Zhuanglong and Secretary Ivan John Uy signed an MOU on digital cooperation on January 4, according to a statement released by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Friday.
According to Uy, the [MOU] between China’s MIIT and DICT is first and foremost an expression of each country’s desire to continue deepening its current bilateral relations and to foster beneficial exchanges in the fields of digital and ICT cooperation.
“This will strengthen digital cooperation between our countries, such as in the areas of emerging technologies, telecommunication, digital governance and radio spectrum management, among others,” said Uy.
In accordance with the MOU, the countries will share best practices, technical expertise, and knowledge of AI, 5G, cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, and other cutting-edge technologies.
Manila and Beijing have decided to share information and best practices in digital government strategy and digital government services. The cooperation also includes assistance to bolster the telecommunications sector, which has been expanding steadily amid rising digital usage.
Moreover, the pandemic’s increasing digitization has led to an increase in demand for data center facilities. Thus, the parties might also therefore consider a future partnership for data center projects.
“This MOU between the Philippines and China will also pave the way for further agreements for the execution of projects or activities on ICT, and will support our country’s efforts to improve and accelerate digitalization in line with the priorities of President Marcos,” Uy said.
Furthermore, when it comes to cybersecurity concerns, Infrawatch PH convener Terry Ridon, warned that the government should make sure that the country’s cybersecurity will not be jeopardized under an extended digital cooperation framework. In light of ongoing security worries regarding China-based digital apps like TikTok, which was recently used to snoop on journalists.
In addition to the agreement on digital partnership, the Department of Finance revealed that the Philippines has received new loans from China totaling $201.8 million to construct important infrastructure projects like bridges and flood control systems.
The Philippines was also promised assistance with regard to the creation of a communication system on marine concerns, electronic commerce, joint plan action on agricultural and fisheries, and tourism, among others.