Mumbai, Oct 4: After completing a two-day visit to China, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today arrived here on a three-day visit, as part of her efforts to forge closer bilateral trade and political relations between the two countries.
In her maiden visit to India, President Arroyo addressed an interaction meet with the Indian business captains organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today, where she highlighted better prospects of trade relations between the two democracies and made an open call for business captains to establish business facilities in her country.
Pointing out various trade-relation prospects in the fields of energy, mining, construction, IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism she said, ''Philippines wants to work with India to make affordable medicines available to the people, to develop alternative sources of energy and to promote mutual visits and eco-tourism.'' Ms Arroyo emphasised that her country has liberalized the visa policy, and added, ''Inspite of cutting the red-tape we have liberalized our visa policy in order to promote mutual relations.'' This is the fist visit of a Philippines President to India in over ten years, earlier in 1997 the then President Fidel Ramos had visited India.
Accompanied by high level business delegation and officials from her country, Ms Arroyo is scheduled to leave for New Delhi this evening. According to sources, Ms Arroyo will meet the Indian President and Prime Minister and participate in various level talks on bilateral-trade and political relations in New Delhi.
A declaration on joint participation in fighting international terrorism and a memorandum on enhanced co-operation in the field of renewable energy is also supposed to be signed by the two nations in her presence.
Memoranda of understanding (MoU) on co-operation between the Foreign Services Institute of India and the Philippines, the Exim Bank of India and the Government of the Philippines on extension of a 15-million-dollar Line of Credit to the Philippines and another between the State Trading Corporation of India and the Philippines International Trading Corporation will also be inked.