Phillippines asks India not to ignore its trade concerns

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) Appealing to India's economic might, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today asked the country to take the trade concerns of her country into account while finalising the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Addressing a joint meeting of the apex chambers here, Ms Arroya spoke of the planned FTA that India and Philippines propose to sign.

In this context Ms Arroya said the bilateral trade balance was in favour of India.

Ms Arroya said whenever the comprehensive agreement is signed, India needs to take care of the trade concerns of the Phillipines, adding, that its GDP growth was much more and size much larger.

The event was organised jointly between ASSOCHAM, FICCI and CII.

The President dwelt at lenght at the joint nine agreements signed during her visit between the two countries and said they would boost trade and economic ties.

She said an understanding has been reached with Indian pharmaceutical industry to set up their manufacturing bases in the Philippines which will help making the South East Asian country a low cost health care facility.

She said the Indian Government through the Exim Bank would extend a 50 million dollar credit line to Philippines to support its trade and industry, particularly in the area of health and medicines.

She added the two countries have also agreed to set up a joint monitoring group which will closely maintain a watch on the implementation aspects of agreements signed.

Ms Arroya appealed to Indian industry to set up manufacturing units in the field of medicines. She said the Phillippines can be used as a base for third country exports. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju stressed the need for promoting trade and cultural ties with Philippines.

He said the Phillipines was of strategic importance to India in the entire ASEAN region.

He sought joint venture cooperation between the two countries so that their age old ties get cemented and India and the Philippines emerge as leading trade partners in the ASEAN region.

UNI

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