India, Philippines discuss Covid vaccine, RCEP, regional security

at 10:00 pm

New Delhi (NVI): India and Philippines today held discussions over Covid-19 vaccines, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal and regional security.

The discussions were held between Indian Ambassador to Philippines Shambhu Kumaran and Ann Hofer, Chairperson of Foreign Affairs Committee of Philippines.

In a tweet, Kumaran said that Hofer shared her view that nature of authorities is a strong determinant of their foreign policy.

“Excellent meeting with Hon. Ann Hofer, Chairperson of Foreign Affairs Committee of Philippines House of Representatives. Useful discussions on vaccines, RCEP/trade and regional security. Fully share her view that nature of regimes is a strong determinant of their foreign policy,” the Indian envoy wrote on Twitter.

Earlier last week, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had urged Indian companies to explore possible partnerships with Philippine firms, according to the media reports.

Indian envoy Shambhu Kumaran, while explaining mutual interest, had said the 11 per cent economic growth that India was projected to attain this year would offer many opportunities to Filipino firms.

“We are also looking forward to cooperate with the Philippines in overcoming the challenges of COVID and exploring the possibility of cooperating for vaccines at present” he had said.

India’s Bharat Biotech has already applied for “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) in the Philippines as part of the globalisation of India-developed COVID-19 vaccine.

Notably, despite not being a part of the Asian mega trade deal – Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), India can benefit from its trade and investment relations with the Philippines, a signatory in the trade pact.

In November last year, the Philippines along with its 10 peers in Southeast Asia and China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia, signed the RCEP — to facilitate free or liberalised and simplified trade among the participating nations in the Trans-Pacific Region.