WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

News

Enhanced economic PH-India ties pushed

The Philippines and India on Friday agreed to have stronger trade and economies ties.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he believed that Manila’s renewed and improved economic relations with New Delhi would benefit both countries.

The President noticed that the “friendly” and “maturing” ties between the two nations “continue to grow” as it was anchored on “centuries-old connections and challenges between our peoples.”

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and India were established in November 1949.

Duterte noted that the two countries’ cooperation deals forged since the establishment of their ties have helped them become “fast-growing economies.”

“During our bilateral meeting this afternoon, President Kovind and I committed to further build a more dynamic and forward-looking relationship between the Philippines and India,” he said in a joint press statement with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind after their bilateral meeting at Malacañan Palace.

“We welcomed the steady rise of our trade and investment exchanges while recognizing the need to further strengthen our economic ties,” he added, as he acknowledged that Manila and New Delhi are at the “forefront” of the global information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.

For Kovind, there was “immense” potential to further deepen the Philippines’ and India’s economic cooperation.

Kovind, who is in Manila for a five-day state visit, bared he was accompanied by a “strong” business delegation that represents the major chambers of commerce of India.

“They will have business intellections with their counterpart Filipino companies in digital industries, innovation and start-ups, health and pharma, and in the crucial area of agricultural development,” he said.

The Indian leader also took note of his country’s interest to participate in the Philippines’ infrastructure development and defense modernization program.

Duterte said the people-to-people ties between the two countries should be sustained through “increased two-way tourism, business, and academic exchanges.”

He also noted that the “us against us” approach was already over, as the Philippines and India need to pursue an “open and inclusive cooperation based on mutual respect and sovereign equality.”

“We are diversifying partnerships – rebalancing old ones and strengthening those that have traditionally been on the margins of our diplomacy,” Duterte said.

“What it requires is, of course, a deft and agile diplomacy that empowers us to maximize opportunities for cooperation in a complex external environment,” he added. (PNA)