Philippines wants to work with India: President Arroyo

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Mumbai, Oct 4 (UNI) The Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today said her country wants to work with India for development of affordable medicines, energy and eco-tourism.

Addressing an interacting meet with Indian business captains here today, Ms Arroyo 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, accompainied with high level business delegation and officials from Philippines, is on her three-day visit to India, as part of her efforts to develop better trade and political relations with the growing economies -- India and China.

Pointing out various trade relation prospects between the two countries in the fields of energy, mining, construction, IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism, she said her country has liberalised the visa policy and added ''By cutting the red-tape, we have liberalised our visa policy in order to promote mutual relations.'' She gave an open invitation to the Indian business partners to her country.

According to the official sources, the two countries will also have delegation-level talks in New Delhi, during the course of her visit, 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 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.

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.

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.

UNI

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