India eyes wider trade with Philippines

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India is eyeing the manufacture of medicines in the Philippines and is seeking cooperation with the country in the areas of renewable energy, information technology-related services (ITES) and food processing.

“Our pharma companies are keen to come and produce medicines here for the domestic and export market.” said India’s Department of Commerce Joint Secretary and Head of Delegation Shri Siddharth at the sidelines of the 11th meeting of Philippine-India Joint Working Group on Trade and Investments (JWGTI).

Siddharth also said that the consistent growth of bilateral trade between the Philippines and India in the recent years will be sustained through the Asean India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA). Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The Asean-India Trade Agreement in Goods, of which Normal Track 1 will take effect by December 2013 and eliminate tariff for 7,000 products, will make a difference for Philippine-India trade ties.

Philippine total trade with India amounted to $1 billion last year, with exports recorded at $326.84 million and imports at $676.49 million. India is Philippines’ 15th largest trading partner, 19th as an export market and 15th as import source.

Top Philippine exports to India include digital monolithic integrated circuits, motor vehicle parts, sanitary articles of paper, transmission of motor vehicles, computer storage data units, organic chemicals, newsprint in rolls, ammonium sulphate, static converters
and pneumatic tires of rubber for cars. The top imports include boneless and frozen bovine cuts, motorcycles, medicaments, soya bean oil cake, motorcycle parts and automobiles.

Siddharth said that India would like to pursue cooperation with the Philippines in the areas of pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, processed foods and ITES, noting the expertise of the two countries in the said sectors.

The has signed an agreement with India on technical cooperation in renewable energy.

Efforts to establish cooperation agreements in the field of information and communication technology are also ongoing.

The Philippine- India JWGTI is the main mechanism to engage India on bilateral trade and economic ties, and aimed at reactivating cooperation efforts and follow up progress that has been achieved in the various areas of collaboration under the two countries’ bilateral trade relations.

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