The Philippines is looking to strengthen its economic ties with India through greater trade, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the DTI is committed to continue to work with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Phil) Inc. (FICCI) in further enhancing Philippine-Indian trade and economic ties.
“There is still big room for opportunity for strengthened economic relations,” he said.
He noted that Indian companies in the country are mostly engaged in manufacturing, agriculture, information technology – business process management, wholesale and retail, construction services, and renewable energy.
The Philippines and India are also looking at forging a preferential trade agreement, which would help improve current trade levels in terms of value and volume.
Lopez said India was the Philippines’ top 14th trading partner, 13th export partner and 13th import supplier last year.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed Philippine exports to India reached $547.98 million, while the country’s imports from India amounted to $1.51 billion last year.
India Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran said India would also want to see the relationship between the two countries continue to grow.
“I am happy to say we are well on our way to building a much stronger and effective partnership, cutting across political dialogue, defense and security cooperation, economic trade and investment linkages and cultural education and people to people ties,” he said.
For his part, FICCI president Mukesh Advani vowed the group would continue to work on helping enhance ties between the two countries.
“Throughout the 70 years, FICCI has been a partner in building a stronger, more prosperous Philippines, and has championed areas such as inclusive growth, poverty alleviation. This will remain our pathway as we move forward,” he said.