India will be the Partner Country for the Mindanao Food Congress and Oro BEST Expo 2022 slated to be held on October 26-30, 2022 at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel, and Limketkai Mall, respectively.

Through the Indian Embassy in the Philippines headed by His Excellency Shambhu S. Kumaran, Asia’s third largest economy will be on full display at the Oro BEST Expo 2022 with its culture, economy and heritage.

The Indian Embassy in Manila will also host the Welcome Dinner and Fellowship with a India Cultural Night to be held at the Atrium on the evening of October 26, 2022.

India is looking to make investments in Philippine agribusiness, specifically  cacao, coffee, mangoes, bananas, coconuts, rubber, bamboo, fruits and nuts, palm oil and other high value crops; tourism (Hotels, Services, management); and  services and logistics, hence its all-in participation in the coming events.

“We do recognize the Philippines is a very large country, and a lot of business activities in the outreach have to happen at the regional level, and the Oro Chamber is one of the very first chambers that we have engaged and the outcomes have been very, very positive,” said H.E. Kumaran during an earlier visit. “We would like to maintain this active engagement with the chamber, as part of the embassy’s regional outreach with the regional business bodies of the Philippines.”

Oro Chamber Past President and Chairman of the Food Congress Ruben Vegafria with India Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran.

H.E. Kumaran said they have identified agriculture as one of the key areas in addition to health care, the financial sector, fin-tech and a variety of other areas including IT where India have  a very strong cooperation already. Other promising sectors identified included the education sectors, renewable energy, ceramics, chemicals, and  agriculture.

 “So I look forward very much to continuing this engagement with the Oro Chamber , and looking ahead, we are keen to  have an active Indian presence at the Mindanao Food Congress,” he stressed.

Philippine-India Relations

Diplomatic relations between India and the Philippines were established in 1949. India maintains an embassy in Manila, while the Philippines maintains one in New Delhi.  A Treaty of Friendship was signed between the Philippines and India on 11 July 1952.

India and the Philippines signed a Trade Agreement in 1979. Bilateral trade was slow between the two countries till the late nineties and then posted a positive growth after the deepening relations between India and ASEAN in the context of India’s ‘Look East Policy’’.

The Agreement on Trade in Goods, which was signed on 13 August 2009 between India and ASEAN; and was fully implemented in 2011, helped in increase in bilateral trade. India is part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Negotiations (RCEP) which will also support and contribute to economic integration. 

Bilateral Trade

Bilateral trade currently stands at US $ 1738.99-M (Exports from India-USD 1287.07mln, India’s imports USD 451.92mln). [Source: MOC for CFY 2019-20 Apr-Jan]. 

Existing full potential has not been realized and there is a need to further facilitate trade between the two countries especially since both economies are growing and are complementary to each other.

Major Indian exports to the Philippines include vehicles, and parts and accessories, pharmaceutical products, reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical Appliances and parts; iron and steel, rubber and rubber products, electrical machinery, equipment and parts; and TV image and sound recorders.

Indian Investments

Estimated Indian investments in the Philippines are valued at more than US $ 900-M. During the last few years, Indian companies have successfully executed some small and medium sized projects in the Philippines.

Kalpataru and Kamani Engineering Corporation are currently engaged in executing transmission line projects in the Mindanao regions of the Philippines. Other engineering firms have been repairing and setting up sugar plants for Philippine companies.

Indian investments in the Philippines are mainly in the areas of textiles, garments, IT, steel, airports, chemicals, automobiles and pharmaceuticals. Major Indian investors include the Aditya Birla Group in textiles & Chemicals (Indo Phil Group), Ispat Group in Steel.

Indo Phil has grown to be the largest textile mill in the Philippines with a production capacity of 25,560 TPA a worsted spinning capability, and 1,500 workers.

A recent major entrant has been the  GMR group Ltd, who in collaboration with Megawide, completed the upgrading and operation of the Cebu-Mactan airport project for the next 25 years starting November 2014. 

Mahindra is taking part in the Government’s Public Utility Modernization Program (PUVMP)  with the initial delivery of 100 units of modernizes jeepneys to ecoDyip, Inc.EcoDyip, Inc. has on order 1,000 units of modernized jeepneys from Mahindra, which are equipped with air-conditioning, GPS tracking, Wi-Fi connectivity, cameras, curbside-opening and features that meet Euro4 standards.

In addition, GMR also won the contract for expansion of the Clark International Airport. Tata Motors and Mahindra have made their presence felt in the Automobile sector. Mahindra Motors is an active player in the Jeepney Modernization Program of the Department of Transportation (DOTR) of the Philippine Government through the supply of modern jeeps in the local market as the common mode of transportation for Filipinos.

BPO Collaboration

Collaboration in the BPO sector has grown exponentially in the last few years. Several Indian IT companies have already set up BPO operations in the Philippines including WIPRO, TCS, L&T Infotech, Innodata, IL&FS Genpact, Infosys, HIGS (Hindujas), and Tech Mahindra.

Similarly, India has a strong presence in Generic Pharmaceuticals with major firms like Dabur Pharma, Lupin, Torrent, Zydus Cadilla, Claris Life sciences having set up liaison offices to promote their products. Lupin has also acquired a stake in a local company. 

Investment Opportunities

India is looking to further invest in the Philippines, more specifically in the IT-non voice sectors, particularly in medical, financial and legal services, game development, engineering design in manufacturing, software development; generic pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, vaccine, OTC, oncology and high end medicines, herbal medicines;  Infrastructure projects such airports, ports, railways, and highways through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP); manufacturing: electronics, shipbuilding, tools and dies, furniture, garments, power and transport.

Other sectors being eyed include automobiles, renewable energy (RE),  agribusiness: cacao, coffee, mangoes, bananas, coconuts, rubber, bamboo, fruits and nuts, palm oil and other high value crops; tourism (Hotels, Services, management); and  services and logistics.


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