FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and India
Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran met
recently to explore ways of
enhancing economic cooperation between their two countries, especially in the areas of
“financial and digital technologies” and infrastructure development.
The DOF press release said
that both officials acknowledged the mutually beneficial
opportunities open to the Philippines and India as economic
partners in the Indo-Pacific
region, as both countries are
poised to strongly bounce back
in 2021 from the economic impact of the lingering COVID-19
In a virtual courtesy call
on Dominguez, Kumaran expressed India’s interest in
strengthening its cooperation
with the Philippines in the
fields of banking and finance,
particularly on expanding the
use of fintech to help attain
President Duterte’s goal of financial inclusion for all Filipinos.
In support of this goal,
Kumaran said India can lend
its expertise to the Philippines in setting up its national
broadband network as well as
its national ID system.
Dominguez welcomed the
Ambassador’s offer of assistance and invited Indian companies to participate in the
upcoming rollout of a shared
cyber-defense plan for Philippine state-run banks and their
Kumaran also said Indian
companies are interested in
taking part in the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build,
Build” program but are in
need of more information on
various opportunities available to them under the President’s centerpiece infrastructure modernization plan.
To assist prospective
investors on this concern,
Dominguez and Kumaran
agreed to help organize a webinar or online workshop where
the Philippines can showcase
the various opportunities
open to India’s companies on
as well as other possible areas
of cooperation between Filipino and Indian firms.
Dominguez said an Indian
company—GMR Infrastructure Limited—is already taking part in the “Build, Build,
Build” program and has performed impressively in operating the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and
expanding the Clark International Airport (CIA).
India and the Philippines
celebrated last year their 70
years of diplomatic relations,
which were established on November 16, 1949. PR/ELIAS O.