PGMA confers Order of Sikatuna on special envoy Chan at RP Pavilion in Shanghai World Expo

June 9, 2010 7:49 pm 

SHANGHAI, June 9 — With a complete wrap-around photographic montage of Filipino hands showing various aspects of contemporary life in all sectors of society and fields of expertise, the Philippine Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo provided a fitting venue to one man who was honored by no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo here for his efforts that led to the strengthening of Philippines-China economic relations.

The President conferred Wednesday the Order of Sikatuna, with rank of Datu (gold distinction) to Special Envoy Carlos Chan for his outstanding service and selfless commitment towards enhancing the prestige of the country, government, and the Filipino people.

Chan had earlier been conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit for his contribution to the strengthening of economic relations between the Philippines and China.

As the Philippines special envoy for trade and investment to China, Chan played a vital role in promoting broader trade between the two countries and attracting Chinese investments.

As a partner of the Philippine diplomatic missions in China, Chan is also a key figure in the planning and construction of the Philippine Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The Philippine Pavilion, which showcases the Philippines as an attractive investment destination, has been designed to emphasize its theme “Performing Cities,” which showcases the artistic skills and traditions, as well as the economic indicators of urban life in the world, according to Philippine Consul-General in Shanghai Maria Rowena Mendoza Sanchez.

With a theme “Better City, Better Life,” the Shanghai Expo emphasizes the opportunity to explore city life as a crucible for social improvement.

“The montage shows that the Philippines is a country whose people understand and value the work of hands. That is to say, building a city or a nation is the handiwork of a people pooling their talents, time and treasures into a commitment for the betterment of life,” she explained.

“The Philippines’ strong presence at the Expo is expected to generate tremendous opportunities in tourism and business exchange with China,” she added.

She noted that outbound travel from Eastern China to the Philippines has been growing at an average rate of 40 percent in the last three years since the opening of the Philippine Tourism Office in Shanghai in 2007.

“This is expected to grow further with the strong partnership between the Philippine and China travel suppliers, and the opening and enhancement of flight access to the Philippines from key cities such as Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou,” Sanchez said.

Chan was instrumental in the success of the President’s 2006 visit to Nanchang and Nanning, and her October 2007 working visit to Shanghai.

He has also openly supported youth projects, including the Loboc Children’s Choir, which won the grand prize at the 6th International Folksongs Choir Festival held in Barcelona, Spain in September 2003. (PNA)

scs/OPS/ssc

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