ABS-CBN News : Marcos, Indian envoy meet to discuss security, economic, various issues

By Jekki Pascual | ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran expressed hopes bilateral ties between the two countries will prosper further under the incoming administration.

At the India-Philippines Business Conference on Agricultural Cooperation in San Juan City, the ambassador said, he made a courtesy call on President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. last Monday. He said they discussed various topics, such as maritime security, health and agriculture.

"President-elect is very keen to bring in some of India's manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical space," said India's envoy.

Kumaran said Philippines and India's relations are anchored on two main pillars – security and development. These were also the topics discussed with Marcos.

The security pillar is about cooperation in defense, maritime security and cybersecurity. Development pillar is on health, agriculture, among others.

"India's experience could be particularly valuable to the Philippines and this is across the agricultural value chain," the ambassador said. He added, "We would like to make sure that agriculture cooperation is a key central pillar of our engagement."

The envoy said the embassy is also working with the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) to partner in various projects. He said farmers in both countries share similar conditions of being largely marginalized, have small farms and no access to credit and markets. The ambassador hopes to share their knowledge to the Philippines and for them to also gain knowledge from Filipinos.

"Going beyond farming, into horticulture, into animal husbandry, into fisheries and the blue economy, this is a must area for engagement with India," said Khumaran.