DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 29 Oct) – XiamenAir will launch thrice-weekly direct flights between Davao City and Jinjiang in Fujian province of China starting December 18 this year, Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag said on Sunday.
In an interview during the inauguration of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China on Sunday, Al-ag said the new service will redound to increased investments, create more tourism activities, and stir the local economy.
City Mayor Sara Duterte will sign a sisterhood agreement with Jinjiang during her scheduled visit from November 12 to 14, or nine months after she signed the letter of intent for the sister city pact with Jinjiang City Deputy Mayor Li Zili in Fujian Province.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called Davao a “new friend and partner” of China and one of the Philippine cities with closest interactions with their country.
He said the consulate will boost subnational interactions between the two countries and highlighted Davao as a “pioneer and shining example.”
On Saturday night, the vice mayor said local officials and tour operators from Manila and Davao had met with executives from XiamenAir, who are optimistic about the anticipated launch of another international flight from F. Bangoy International Airport, the fourth after Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
On Sunday, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group launched a direct four times a week Davao-Hong Kong flight.
He said they hope the city of Jinjiang would be Davao’s gateway to Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China.
“Most of the Filipinos, especially in Mindanao are very interested to also visit Beijing. With all tourism sites in Beijing, including the Great Wall of China, it has great potential,” he said.
Al-ag believed the flight service will be boon to the agricultural sector as it opens a new market for farmers and exporters and an opportunity for businessmen from both sides to invest.
“We see a lot of potential in terms of export from Davao, with our agricultural products. They are very interested to make sure that our agricultural products will enter the market in the jinjiang,” he said.
Specifically, Al-ag said they expect more exportation of bananas, pomelo, and cacao beans to China, which offers a big market opportunity for the farmers.
The official is optimistic the flight can be sustained because 80% of the Filipino Chinese, including Chinese investors in Davao, originated from Jinjiang. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)