Over the past four years, the Philippines and India have been actively strengthening their bilateral ties, achieving significant progress through meaningful engagements. As the charge d’affaires at the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi since July 2022, I have had the privilege of working to advance Philippine interests and enhance the relationship between our two countries, particularly in the economic sphere.
India holds a pivotal role as an essential trading partner and a hub for economic activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippine Embassy in New Delhi has consistently advocated for the Philippines as a strategic partner in Southeast Asia, offering the potential to complement India’s investments and its expansion in research and development, as well as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sectors.
This partnership is rooted in the Philippines’ growing innovation, its youthful and skilled population, its competitive edge in the English language, and ongoing economic reforms. Both the Philippines and India stand to gain substantially from continued collaboration, mutual learning, and the sharing of unique experiences.
India is poised to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2027, surpassing countries like Japan and Germany. It has also maintained the title of the world’s fastest-growing major economy, boasting an average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 5.5% over the past decade. In a notable milestone, India’s economy outgrew that of the United Kingdom last year, securing its position as the fifth-largest economy globally.
Conversely, the Philippine government’s foreign policy aligns with a socio-economic agenda aimed at reducing poverty to 9% by 2028 and elevating the country to “upper-middle-income” status. Achieving food and energy security is a central objective of our bilateral and multilateral engagements. To this end, the government has issued clear directives to foster partnerships that accelerate agricultural productivity and modernize agricultural infrastructure.
The Philippines also recognizes the significance of emerging space-based technologies as sources of innovation and opportunity. Substantial room exists for collaboration between the Philippines and India in this domain. Notably, the Philippine Space Agency (PHILSA) was established in 2019, making it the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Among its mandates, PHILSA is tasked with promoting the Philippines’ national security and development through space education, research, industry development, and capacity building. This presents a promising avenue for cooperation and growth in both nations’ space endeavors.