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India, Philippines ink four pacts at ASEAN summit
Manila: India and the Philippines on Monday inked four pacts providing for cooperation in a number of areas, including the defence and security, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Rodrigo Duterte, covering the entire gamut of bilateral relationship.
Identifying terrorism as a major threat facing the two countries and the region, the two leaders also resolved to expand bilateral cooperation to effectively deal with the challenge.
“Both the leaders said scourge of terrorism has to be dealt with effectively. It is a very important outcome,” Secretary (East) in the Exernal Affairs Ministry Preeti Saran told reporters.
The Prime Minister described the meeting as “productive”. “Had a productive meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. We had extensive discussions on enhancing India-Philippines bilateral cooperation especially in trade, business and culture,” the prime minister tweeted.
Modi’s bilateral visit to the Philippines is first by an Indian Prime Minister in 36 years, though Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister had come here for a multilateral meeting.
Saran said the pact on defence cooperation was a significant outcome as it will boost cooperation in various spheres including in the areas of logistics.
The other pacts will facilitate deeper cooperation in areas of agriculture and micro and small industries.
Saran said the Filipino President pitched for a “robust” relationship with India and particularly sought greater Indian investment in the pharmaceutical sector.
He also sought investment by Indian companies in the infrastructure sector of the Philippines.
Modi will also have bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, New Zealand Prime minister Jacinda Ardern and several other leaders. (PTI)