(OCTOBER 18, 2019) — President Rodrigo Duterte signed four agreements with India during the state visit of President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday, marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on tourism cooperation was signed in Malacañang which aims to introduce “various areas and modalities for tourism cooperation”. Another MOU between the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Indian Navy on maritime security was also inked.
The two leaders also signed program of cooperation in the fields of science and technology, and a cultural exchange program for 2019 to 2023.
Aside from the MOUs, the business delegation of India also met with officials from the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Agriculture (DA) for trade consultations.
DOST Secretary Fortunato De La Peña said India will be able to contribute immensely to technology and mass transportation.
“We are still in learning process in area of tech transfer. This is one of the areas where we need improvement. We have finished research but utilization is low,” said De La Peña.
One particular field of interest for Philippine officials is drug manufacturing which they hope will improve with India’s help.
“Medicine consists about 12% of all imports from China. Its about P200 million dolllars a year 90% bought by government. We need medicines to come to our country. We need good quality. We need safe (medicines) but we have to make it affordable,” said DOH Usec. Eric Domingo.
The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines said it is coordinating with Indian hospitals, and will ask them to train Filipino doctors and hospital managers.
“Not only on medical side but how they compute for costs. Hospitals tend to markup every consumable they use. That transfer of know-how can be in place,” said Daryanani.
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