The Philippines and India signed four agreements to enhance cooperation on defense, trade, agriculture and foreign services, boosting bilateral ties at the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Manila.
The signing was held during the bilateral meeting of President Rodrigo Duterte and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi on Monday.
The four agreements signed involved defense and logistics cooperation, agriculture, cooperation in the field of micro, small, and medium enterprises and collaboration between the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute of Philippines.
On his Twitter account, Modi said he had a productive meeting with Duterte, chairman of this year’s Asean meetings.
“Had a productive meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. We had extensive discussions on enhancing India-Philippines bilateral cooperation especially in trade, business and culture,” Modi tweeted.
In his speech during the meeting, Duterte said he would like to further enhance trade relations with India, particularly on medicines, which India has made affordable.
He urged Modi to explore business opportunities in the Philippines, especially on affordable medicines amid India’s flourishing generics industry.
“I’m happy that you’re here because of we can’t find the medicines, and you have it…And we might invite you to take a visit to the Philippines and some of the guys who maybe would want to invest there. And we would [be]happy to see you building an investment that would include the medicines,” Duterte said.
Modi invited Duterte to visit New Delhi along with other Asean leaders for the 2018 Asean-India Commemorative Summit.
“In God’s will, I will be there,” Duterte told Modi.