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PH-INDIA RELATIONS TO OPEN MORE MARKET ACCESS TO PRODUCTS – LOPEZ

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez underscored the deepening trade and investment relations between the Philippines and India after Indian President Ram Nath Kovind conveyed his country’s interest to participate in the Philippine growth story.

During the recent ASEAN-India Business Summit Gala, Kovind and Lopez expressed optimism on the growth of economic and business relations between the Philippines and India, citing various sectors that both countries can further collaborate on.

“With the Philippines enjoying robust economic growth, we need to create opportunities with India and its own fast-growing economy to expand economic engagements that is based on synergies and complementarities, such as in IT-BPO (information technology-business process outsourcing), pharma, transportation, and infrastructure,” the trade chief said.

“We encourage Indian pharma groups to locate their manufacturing plants in the country.”

The country’s trade head likewise encouraged Indian pharma groups to locate their manufacturing plants in the country.

He called on the continued exchange of best practices and upgrading primary skills in the IT-BPO and ICT industries. He also relayed the Philippines’ optimism on the entry of India’s transport giants in the country as well as the interest of India’s Hinduja in expanding their bus manufacturing operations in the country.

Lopez highlighted the participation of India’s GMR Group in the country’s infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships. He also emphasized the growing number of Indian students in the country pursuing education in the field of medicine and civil aviation.

Meanwhile, Kovind commended the country’s initiatives in pushing development for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

According to Kovind, MSMEs have a great role in economic growth and countries should do their best in promoting the sector. He further applauded programs and initiatives of the Philippine government and private sector, including the works of Lopez, in championing the MSME and encouraging its growth and development.

Kovind added that the Philippines is a natural partner in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region and highlighted the country’s massive infrastructure program, “Build Build Build,” as an area that presents enormous opportunities for companies and investors from both sides. Kovind stressed the immense value that India’s healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors can give to the Philippines, as he referred to these services as “bringing joy to the people’s lives.”

“We hope that this will continue in the days to come as we work towards creating greater inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all our peoples.”

“These engagements symbolize the growing friendship between our two nations. We hope that this will continue in the days to come as we work towards creating greater inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all our peoples — the same vision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Lopez said.

Both Kovind and Lopez recognized the growing opportunities in the digital economy and the need to cope with the digital age. Areas that were emphasized include e-commerce, FinTech (financial technology), imaginative entertainment, and power green solutions.

With the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which both the Philippines and India are participating countries, Lopez is looking forward to an increased interaction between the two countries as well as opening of more market access for Philippine products to India and vice versa.

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