India, Philippines to step up cooperation in energy, against terror

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) India and the Philippines will step up cooperation in counter-terrorism and renewable sources of energy.

The two countries will sign eight agreements, including for cooperation in energy and against terrorism, during the State visit of Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo here tomorrow, the External Affairs Ministry said today.

Ms Arroyo who arrives here from Mumbai tonight, will have discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

The two countries will also have delegation-level talks after which eight pacts will be signed. These include : Declaration on a Framework of Bilateral Cooperation, Agreement on Establishment of a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism, Memorandum of Agreement on Exemption of Visa Requirements for Diplomatic Passport holders, Memorandum of Agreement on Enhanced Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy, Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institutes of India and the Philippines, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Exim Bank of India and the Government of Philippines on extension of a 15 million US Dollar Line of Credit to the Philippines and MOU between the State Trading Corporation of India Ltd. and the Philippines International Trading Corporation.

The Philippines President will be accompanied by seven Cabinet Ministers including of Health, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Tourism and Energy. A 41-member business delegation will also accompany her.

The visit, aimed at boosting the sagging political and trade ties between the two countries, is the first by a Philippines President to India during the past ten years, the last being that of Fidel Ramos in 1997.

India's 'Look East Policy' is also expected to get a boost with the visit, officials here said.

Another main purpose of her visit is to secure the availability of inexpensive medicines from India, officials said.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will call on the visiting dignitary tomorrow.

She will address a luncheon meeting with the representatives of Indian industry including the CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM.

In the evening, Vice President Hamid Ansari will call on the Philippines President which will be followed by a meeting with President Pratibha Patil.

Ms Arroyo will leave for Philippines on October 6 in the afternoon.

UNI

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