Manila/Philippines (NVI): In a bid to further boost economic and security relations between India and Philippines, the President of India, Ramnath Kovind and Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed four agreements on October 18 in the fields of maritime domain, defence modernisation, security, tourism, science, technology and culture.
Speaking on the occasion, President Kovind said, “For India, ASEAN is a region of great importance. India wants to see a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN playing a central role in the emerging dynamic of the Indo-Pacific. Engagement with ASEAN has been, and will remain, a critical element of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and strategy.”
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations, President Ramnath Kovind is on two nations visit to Philippines and Japan. He was received by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of Philippines at Malacanan Palace and accorded a ceremonial welcome.
During the one-to-one discussions, the two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation as well as regional and global issues.
“There is immense potential to further deepen the Philippines-India economic ties and Philippine emerged as an important focus country for India’s corporate sector. Indian companies are interested in partner Filipino companies in digital industries, innovation and start-ups, health and pharma and in the crucial area of agricultural development. India is also keen to participate in infrastructure development as well as in defence modernization of the Philippines,” said Kovind.
He further said, “As two vibrant democracies that believe in a rules-based international order, respect for international law and sovereign equality of nations, the Philippines and India are natural partners in the pursuit of their respective national development and security objectives.”
Inviting companies from the Philippines to invest in India’s transformative growth and development, Kovind said, “In both these areas, Indian companies have made their mark and attained global reputation.”
President Kovind commenced his engagements with a visit to the Rizal Park where he paid tributes to Dr Jose Rizal, the national hero of Philippines. He also presented the ‘Key to the City’ by the Mayor of Manila City, Mr Domagoso at the Rizal Park.
Later in the evening, the President attended a banquet hosted in his honour by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of Philippines.
Speaking on the occasion, Kovind said, “This year is a landmark in our bilateral journey.”