New Delhi: “India and the Philippines have immense potential for cooperation in the agriculture and information technology sectors”, said India's Ambassador-Designate to the Philippines, Mr Amit Dasgupta, while addressing the members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Chennai on 10 July 2012.
In the field of Agriculture, India and Philippines can work together on value addition of agricultural produce such as fruits, rice, etc, said Mr Dasgupta. For example, the rice husk and pineapple fibre can be used to make traditional cloths in Philippines, he said.
Speaking about the IT industry, the Ambassador – Designate said that the Indian IT sector is matured and need not worry about the competition from Philippines becoming a major BPO hub. Mr Dasgupta said India's engagement with Philippines would be on two fronts – country to country and with the ASEAN region as a whole. The Look East Policy of the Government of India and the FTA with ASEAN would further strengthen the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, said Mr Dasgupta.
Mr J N Amrolia, Chairman, IR Sub Committee, CII Southern Region & Advisor, Ashok Leyland Ltd said, “there is potential to increase trade with Philippines in the drugs and pharma sector, because the cost competitiveness of the Indian healthcare industry gives it an edge”. India also has strengths in the field of machinery and engineering goods at intermediate and high levels of technology that can help in setting up joint ventures with Philippine companies, he added.
India’s bilateral trade with Philippines was US$ 1312.12 million in 2010-11, with exports at US$ 882.74 million and imports at US$ 429.39 million. In 2010-11, exports to Philippines reached a level of 17.89%, while the imports from Philippines increased by 37.15%. The total bilateral trade went up by 23.57% during this period.