MANILA—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has encouraged Indian manufacturing companies to explore opportunities in the Philippines.
During the first Philippines-India Investment Forum in Makati City Tuesday, DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado said there are vast opportunities in the country for Indian manufacturing firms, given its market of more than 100 million people, robust economic growth, and trade deals benefiting the Philippines.
Terrado mentioned that the country has 345 economic zones that can host the production facilities of Indian companies.
Indian firms setting up businesses here can utilize the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, in which imported machinery entering the Philippines enjoy up to zero duty, while Philippine-manufactured products exported to ASEAN countries also benefit from the same tariff rate, she pointed out.
The official noted that the Philippines is also an attractive market for Indian firms eyeing to export to the European Union (EU) market with the EU Generalized Preference Scheme Plus (GSP+) granted to the country in 2014.
Terrado stressed that the Philippines is the only country in the ASEAN with EU GSP+.
Aside from manufacturing, she said Indian firms can also boost their investments in areas of information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), pharmaceutical, and public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
India ranked 16th among the country’s top trading partners and was its 20th largest export market in 2015.
In the same year, Philippine exports to India rose 27 percent to USD381 million.
India is also the 13th major source of foreign investments for the Philippines in the past two years.
Meanwhile, as the Philippines hosts the ASEAN Summit 2017, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George Barcelon said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is invited to visit Manila for the ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) event, celebrating the 25th year of relations between the ASEAN and India.