New Delhi, India -- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said investment pledges and agreements from Indian firms reached a total of USD1.25 billion, which are expected to generate thousands of jobs for Filipinos.
"The truth of the matter is, even before the start of the ASEAN-India [Summit], DTI has already facilitated USD1.250 billion in new investments in the Philippines," Roque said during an official press briefing at the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit 2018.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that it has obtained at least nine investment pledges and agreements from top Indian companies, which are expected to strengthen the Philippines’ economic relationship with the South Asian country.
DTI conducted a series of meetings at the sidelines of the summit to discuss investment plans with major Indian conglomerates that intend to either expand or begin their operations in the Philippines.
Lopez said the agency received a total of seven letters of intent from firms that expressed interest in investing in the country.
Meanwhile, he added that two memoranda of understanding (MOU) on investments were also signed between India and the Philippines.
“We had basically about nine agreements with them on how… we can both expand and strengthen our trade and investment relationship," said Lopez.
“I will tell you that it is emerging to be a substantial commitment on the investment side as well as job generation side,” he added.
The investment pledges came from companies involved in pharmaceutics, information technology, energy, tourism, medical wellness and business processing management.
Lopez said the government primarily wanted to prioritize pharmaceutics and business outsourcing as areas of cooperation with India, since the country is known to excel in both industries.
He said this was “aligned with what the president intends to achieve in this visit – to strengthen the trade on pharmaceuticals to ensure that the Filipinos will have better, easier access to affordable quality drugs.”
Lopez said there were even discussions to create a working group to develop a plan that would strengthen the two countries’ trade and investment partnership on pharmaceutics. The group was given two months to provide a report.
Meanwhile, Roque reported that the recently concluded bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fostered a shared commitment to expand the two countries’ ties particularly on business and security.
“The two heads of states agreed that relations, while already very good, will even be better and that there will be further bilateral negotiations on issues involving trade and even military cooperation in the next two months,” Roque said. (PR)