India and Philippines sign agreements
President Ram Nath Kovind is on his official tour to Philippines and Japan. In the first leg of his visit he reached Manila, Philippines on October 17, 2019. He met his Philippines counter part and signed four agreements on science and technology, culture, tourism and maritime. The agreement includes sharing of white shipping data. White shipping includes information about identification and movement of commercial and non-military vessels.
China claims most of the contested sea in the region. It includes waters close to the Philippines waters as well. In June 2019, a Chinese fishing trawler sank a Philippines boat. Many such mishaps are common in these waters. China had also dismissed a UN-backed international tribunal ruling that said that its assertion to the South China Sea is without legal basis.
Significance of the visit
- India believes that engagement with ASEAN countries is a critical element of India’s Act East Policy
- Philippines is an important focus country for India’s corporate sector. There is immense potential to deepen India-Philippines economic ties
- India is looking forward to participate in the infrastructural development and defense modernization of Philippines
- Indian companies are interested to invest in Philippines health, pharma, innovation start-ups and digital industries.
Highlights of the visit
- President paid his tributes to Dr Jose Rizal, the national hero of Philippines
- The President visited Malaccan Palace. He was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the palace.
- The visit was to commemorate 70th anniversary of India-Philippines relations