The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investment Center in New Delhi (PTIC – New Delhi) recently held trade and investment roadshows which were dubbed as “Business Round Table: Strategic Trade and Investment Opportunities with the Philippines” in two of India’s top business cities, Mumbai and Bangalore.

“India can look to the Philippines as a secondary location to access the ASEAN Economic Community, and other important regional markets. In addition, the Philippines is the only ASEAN country with EU GSP+ privileges and GSP privileges in the USA,” emphasized Philippine Commercial Counsellor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio in New Delhi.

The events, hosted by the World Trade Centers located in the said cities, are primarily aimed to establish stronger business ties with India. At present, India is considered as one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

PTIC – New Delhi noted that the event provided a platform for the Philippines to position itself as an attractive investment hub and as a strategic gateway to the six hundred twenty-two (622) million market of the ASEAN Economic Community, one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

“Besides English as the main language of business of both countries, India and the Philippines are also among the world’s fastest growing economies and are major players in the global IT-BPM Value Chain. Tier II IT and BPM companies from India can follow the example of 14 of India’s top companies who are already located in the Philippines to strengthen their foothold in the global services markets,” added Ignacio.

The Philippine economy grew by 7% in the 2nd quarter of 2016, while India with a population of 1.2 billion, is expected to post above 7% GDP growth for the same period.

According to DTI PTIC – New Delhi, Philippines looks forward to tap the unexplored high potential for trade and investment partnership with India. With 345 economic zones, the Philippines is seen as an ideal hub in establishing India’s commercial presence and reach out to high potential markets in the Asia Pacific rim.

DTI PTIC – New Delhi presented excellent opportunities in priority sectors such as IT Enabled Services (ITES), automotive components, public-private partnerships (PPP) and infrastructure development. It also identified potentials of Philippine products such as high innovation and design-driven products for niche markets, electronics and semi-conductors. Philippines also positions itself as an alternative education destination for Indian students.

Noting the substantial contributions of the Philippine electronics and semiconductors industry in the Philippine economy, M N Vidyashankar, President of the India Electronics and Semiconductors Association and former Principal Secretary in the State of Karnataka mentioned, “We can definitely work together to help the two countries enhance business relationships in the electronics system design and manufacturing space. As the Philippines is a very strong player in this regard and we would like to take advantage in terms of joint-ventures, collaborations and partnerships for companies from the two countries.”

The Indian electronics and hardware industry is expected to perform well above 10% growth levels and reach $112-130 billion by 2018, according to an ASSOCHAM- Ernst and Young study released in April 2016.

At present, India’s electronics and seminconductors current size is at $75 billion which makes it an attractive market for the said industry. Some of the said drivers of growth for the said industry include increasing consumer demand and disposable incomes, and the declining prices of electronics.
India is currently the 20th trading partner of the Philippines.