The Philippines recently held discussions with India to forge closer cooperation and strengthen the two countries’ trade and investment relations.
At the 12th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investments (JWGTI) held in New Delhi, India, Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) Governor Lucita P. Reyes discussed areas of cooperation including bilateral cooperation initiatives and issues involving trade, investments, and improved market access for both countries.
Reyes led an 11-strong delegation from Manila that included representatives from the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PTIC), variousgovernment agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),and the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi. Meanwhile, Mr. Ravi Capoor, Joint Secretary of the Department of Commerce of India led a twenty-member delegation of officials representing different officers of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The meeting identified areas of cooperation in coconut(production, processing and commercialization), rice, customs, Science and Technology, Information Communication Technology (ICT), pharmaceuticals, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) development, and higher education. Both countries also pledged to jointly develop a mechanism for sharing statistical data and to fast-track the development, signing, and implementation ofpending Memoranda of Understanding between the Philippines and India.
Last month, PTIC New Delhi also organized a Business Round Table and Executive Briefing entitled “High Potential Philippines India Strategic Partnerships on Trade and Investments,” in cooperation with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), to encourage businesses and industry players in India to explore business opportunities in the Philippines.
During the event, Indian companies in sectors such as manufacturing, food processing, and furniture expressed their interest in investing and establish operations in the Philippines.
Two-way trade between the Philippines and India reached US$ 1.8 Billion for the fiscal year 2014-2015 while registered Indian Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)-approved foreign investments to the Philippines amounted to PHP 1.75 Billion in 2015. This includes the Philippines’ priority sectors for investments such as Information Communications Technology (IT and IT enabled services and Business Process Management). Fourteen of India’s IT-BPM companies also established operations in the country.
The 13th JWGTI is set to be held in Manila on the third quarter of 2017.