The Philippines has once again invited India to look at the opportunities in the country for the manufacture of active pharma ingredients, vaccines and essential medicines.
This was raised by Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo at the conclusion of the virtual 13th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investments (JWGTI) on 17 September 2020. The JWGTI was led by Rodolfo, DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy, and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce of India Anant Swarup.
Recognized as the “pharmacy of the world,” Rodolfo has encouraged India to consider opportunities in the manufacture of active pharma ingredients, vaccines and essential medicines and establishment of R&D facilities for herbal medicines.
Discussions also focused on initiatives to foster synergies in various sectors such as textiles, electronics (Smart manufacturing and digital technologies, IC design and electronics system design manufacturing), IT-BPM (telemedicine, health information management, software development and IT solutions and online learning), energy, and agriculture.
“The Philippines still has a traditional view of India. This mindset has to change given the vast opportunities for collaboration that remain untapped,” said Rodolfo whose view was also shared by Swarup.
“Both sides share in each other’s total trade is negligible, from only about 0.3 – 1%, hence the full potential of the relations is yet to be reached,” said the Indian official.
Both sides are now gearing up to pursue concrete initiatives for an enhanced promotion of trade and investment between the two countries.
In 2019, India was the Philippines’ 14thtop trading partner (out of 226), 17th export market (out of 220), and 13th import supplier (out of 194) with total trade of $2.4 billion. India was also the 8thlargest source of approved investments at P915.64 million in 2019.
The JWGTI serves as DTI’s dedicated platform to discuss trade and investment issues, proposals for economic cooperation, and concerns on the business environment. The 13thJWGTI meeting was attended by various business organizations and was graced by their Excellencies Ramon S. Bagatsing, Jr., Ambassador of the Philippines to India and Shambhu S. Kumaran, Ambassador of India to the Philippines.
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