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International Relations


  • 21 Oct 2019
  • 4 min read

Recently, the President of India addressed the India-Philippines Business Conclave and the 4th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Business Summit in Manila, Philippines.

  • India is celebrating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Philippines in 2019.
  • The President of India also unveiled the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Miriam College in Quezon City.

India-Philippines Business Conclave

  • Both countries aim to integrate India’s “Make in India” with the Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure initiative to create immense opportunities for companies and investors on both sides.
  • The bilateral trade between the two countries has shown continuous progress, though the IT-BPO segment has remained an important sector in overall trade.
    • The India-Philippines trade has risen to nearly $2.5 billion, also the presence of Indian companies in the Philippines is rising.
  • In recent years, India-Philippines have seen two-way investment growth in infrastructure and energy sectors.
    • The Indian investment in the Philippines has grown especially in concrete projects like LNG pipelines, waste management solutions and airport terminals
  • Both the countries also agreed to sign a Tourism Promotion Agreement to bring the people of the two countries further closer.
  • There is scope to enhance partnership in several areas - from trade, investment, services, agriculture, engineering to new technologies like digital devices, Artificial Intelligence etc.
    • The Indian pharma and healthcare sectors offer immense value to the Philippines.

4th ASEAN-India Business Summit

  • ASEAN- India Business Summit aims to upgrade economic and business relations between each and every ASEAN country and India.
    • ASEAN-India relations are to be of utmost importance as India’s “Act East” policy puts the region at the centre of its engagement with the Indo-Pacific.
  • Though ASEAN-India trade has increased significantly in the past few years, both parties aimed to reach the target of US$ 200 billion by 2022.

Timeline of India-Philippines Relation

  • India and the Philippines formally established diplomatic relations in 1949, shortly after both countries gained independence. (Philippines in 1946 and India in 1947).
  • Despite historical shared values and commonalities, such as anticolonialism, South-South cooperation, a strong democratic polity and the wide use of the English language, the full potential of the relationship between the two countries is yet to be achieved.
  • When India launched Look East Policy and intensified partnership with ASEAN in 1992, it also resulted in intensified relations with the Philippines both bilaterally and in the regional context.
    • With the Act East Policy (2014), the relationship with the Philippines has diversified further into political-security; trade and industry, etc.
  • India has a positive trade balance with the Philippines (more Export from India compared to Import from the Philippines to India).
  • The Indian community in the Philippines has become an integral part of the population.
    • The Philippines is also beginning to emerge as a destination for Indian students.


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