PH, India push new trade, investment opportunities

THE Philippines and India are working to further strengthen its trade and investment relationship, particularly by creating more market opportunities and improve their bilateral trade relations.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and India Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran discussed the initiatives during their virtual courtesy call on April 5.

Lopez highlighted the recently passed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which offers market potential to Indian manufacturing companies who plan to pursue business in the Philippines.

The two officials also talked about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and how the Philippines can be a gateway for India to participate in the massive regional trade agreement. India had decided to decline membership in the RCEP agreement discussions.

They also brought up during the meeting the Philippines-India Preferential Trade Agreement, which is still in the pipeline, to capitalize on each other’s complementarities in terms of industrial strengths and resource endowments.

Lopez mentioned the Philippines can be India’s “complementary” site for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, vaccines, essential medicines and biologicals.

Market opportunities in the country’s data centers and other related information technology infrastructures were also raised by the Trade chief, as he cited big local telecommunication companies that can serve as India’s potential partners.

Meanwhile, Kumaran shared India’s plans to penetrate jeepney manufacturing and electronic manufacturing industry in the country. He noted that India is also interested to learn about geothermal energy from the Philippines as part of its objectives to further renewable energy trade plans.

Following the outcomes of the discussion in the 13th Philippines-India Joint Working Group on Trade and Investments held on September 17 last year, the two countries remain committed to expanding their partnership in the areas of agribusiness, electronics, infrastructure, renewable energy and manufacturing, among others.