New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, called the 5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting with Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo “productive and comprehensive”.
Jaishankar and visiting Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo co-chaired the 5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) here in the national capital.
Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, “Just concluded a productive and comprehensive meeting of the 5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation with @SecManalo. Our talks covered enhancing contacts and broadening cooperation as we head towards the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic ties”.
He said that the agenda of the discussion covered issues related to defence, maritime security, counter-terrorism and transnational crimes.
“Our agenda today covered defence, maritime security, counter-terrorism and transnational crimes. As also our growing economic ties, including in trade and investments; development cooperation; health and pharma; tourism; air services; agriculture; fintech; S&T and space cooperation,” he said.
Jaishankar said that during the meeting, the strong collaboration between the two nations in ASEAN and in multilateral forums was also recognised.
“Noted the importance of greater people-to-people ties, specifically in tourism and education sectors. Recognized our strong collaboration in ASEAN and in multilateral forums. As Indo-Pacific countries, underlined our strong convergence on key issues,” he further said.
The visiting Philippines Foreign Secretary announced that his country has ratified the updated Air Services Agreement with India.
During the delegation-level talks, the External Affairs Minister highlighted the necessity to stabilize the Indo-Pacific and the importance of the rule of law and promoting inclusive multilateralism.
“The importance of our defence cooperation, the need to stabilize the Indo-Pacific, the importance of respecting rule of law and promoting inclusive multilateralism and the fact that we are both democratic Asian republics. I think all these messages really resonate very strongly with us from our perspective,” said Jaishankar.
He added, “I would also like to express my appreciation for your participation in the Voice of Global South Summit. And I truly believe today that we are two countries who share so much, who look at global developments and continental developments with so much convergence and who have so many economic complementarities that our commission will surely be very productive”.
Meanwhile, Manalo in his address thanked Jaishankar and the Government of India for the warm hospitality and welcome accorded to him and his delegation. The Philippines Foreign Secretary also noted the various areas of cooperation with India.
“We attach great importance to our relationship with India. Since the first JCBC, a number of key areas of cooperation have already been discussed and in fact, action is taken, and we hope that we can extend it further to our discussions today. India is a priority partner of the Philippines in science and technology, including space cooperation. Areas cooperation and trade and investment, defence, health, medicine, agriculture, tourism, financial, technology, just to name some,” he said.
Manalo also said that India was ranked as the Philippines’ 15th trading partner and that the two countries are working further to cement these ties.
“With the expected growth in economies of both countries, we are committed to even extending this, increasing this by creating an environment which will foster greater business partnerships and relationships in a way that mutually benefits both our countries,” the Philippines Foreign Secretary said.
“And finally, I’d like to note that we have also progressed since we both opened Consulates General in each other’s countries not long after our gaining independence. And my delegation here with me today is even more optimistic in the future of our cooperation relationship,” he said.
Jaishankar and Manalo had last met in Cambodia on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, in November last year.
India and the Philippines will this year celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. (ANI)
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