India-Philippines Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Cabinet approved signing and ratifying of Agreement between India and Philippines on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters. The agreement will help in availability of relevant information for prevention and investigation of Customs offences.
The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between countries. It will enter into force after necessary national legal requirements have been fulfilled by both countries.
The Agreement will provide legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between Customs authorities of two countries. It would help in proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and facilitation of legitimate trade.
The Agreement has been finalized with concurrence of two Customs Administrations. It takes care of Indian Customs’ concerns and requirements, particularly in area of exchange of information on correctness of Customs value declared and authenticity of certificates of origin of goods traded between two countries.
India and Philippines have signed four agreements in areas of defence, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and tie-up between think-tanks. The defence agreement is to have private and public enterprises to cooperate in the defence sector, including on the off-shore patrolling vessels.
These agreements were signed after bilateral meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on sidelines of the ASEAN and related summits that are underway in Philippines capital. It was first bilateral visit by Indian PM to Philippines in 36 years after visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981, though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited the southeast Asian country in 2007 for ASEAN summit.
PM Modi contributed two Indian rice seed varieties to gene bank of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Philippines which is working towards mitigating global poverty and hunger by improving cultivation of key grain.
He also visited IRRI in Los Banos, an urban locality around 65 km from Manila and interacted with several Indian scientists working there. He also inaugurated ‘rice field laboratory’ named after him as Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory.