India and the Philippines have initiated cooperation in areas like fintech, blue economy, renewable energy, space, cyber security, and traditional medicine, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.
To expand bilateral business, tourism, and student exchange between the two countries, both sides agreed on the need for a simplified visa regime between them.
External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar visited the Philippines from February 13-15, in his first visit as Minister, also sought the attention of its government to facilitate early return of Indian medical students, the MEA said.
Jaishankar met his counterpart, Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., as well as Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Finance Secretary Carlos Domineguez III, and Agriculture Secretary Dr William Dar to discuss strengthening cooperation in these sectors.
He and Locsin reviewed developments in bilateral relations since the meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation that they co-chaired in virtual format in November 2020. They also discussed the future trajectory of the wide-ranging engagement between the two countries, and also had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
In light of the complementarities between two countries as fast growing market economies, and the shared interest in diversifying supply chains, they agreed to make efforts to further expand economic cooperation as well as trade and investment links in a range of areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, health and pharmaceuticals, tourism, ICT, and science & technology.
The Ministers welcomed recent trends in bilateral ties that have contributed to deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation and the expansion to newer areas based on shared interests in line with the vision of the leadership of both countries. They agreed to further work towards strengthening engagement in counter-terrorism and defence and maritime security, covering defence capabilities as well as military training and capacity building, the MEA statement said.