"India and Philippines can work together in the area of agriculture. For instance, while pineapple is wasted in the north-eastern parts of India, in Philippines, fibres are taken out of the fruit for making traditional clothes," said India's Ambassador-designate to the Philippines, Amit Dasgupta
Speaking at an interactive session with businessmen organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said that the Indian IT sector is not just a call-centre or business process outsourcing (BPO) business, and hence, the domestic sector need not worry about the Philippines becoming a major BPO hub.
Dasgupta also said that a senior Indian minister is expected to lead a business delegation to Philippines this year. However, he declined to name the minister or give more details on the kind of business delegation that would visit the Philippines.
Dasgupta, expected to take charge as Indian envoy to Philippines next month, said that India's relation with the Philippines will be two-pronged. Firstly, India will relate to Philippines as an individual nation, and secondly, as part of the Association of South East Asian Nations.
According to him, the relationship with ASEAN nations is like a game of chess. "Even while making a pawn move, one has to consider holistically other pieces in the board and the impact of the move on others," he said.
According to JN Amrolia, Director, Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment, the current liberal trade regimes followed by the two countries have positively impacted on bilateral economic relations.
He said that the bilateral trade with Philippines was USD1,312.12 million in 2010-11, with exports out of India at USD882.74 million and imports at USD429.39 million.
Amrolia said that there is potential to increase trade with Philippines in the drugs and pharma sector because of the cost competitiveness enjoyed by the Indian industries.