5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC)

by Diplomatist Bureau - 7 July, 2023, 12:00 1049 Views 0 Comment

At the invitation of External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Enrique A. Manalo visited India from 27-30 June 2023 to co-chair 5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), held on 29th June 2023 in New Delhi.

During the meeting, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, defence, security, maritime cooperation, trade & investment, health, tourism, agriculture, financial technology and also discussed regional & multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Both Ministers noted the expanding scope of India-Philippines ties and agreed to work together to further strengthen the bilateral partnership. They noted the complementarities the two countries share as vibrant, youthful democracies and fast-growing economies in the Indo-Pacific region. In this context, they recalled the guidance from their leaders, the President of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., and Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, as expressed during their telephone conversation on 5 August 2022 to forge a wide-ranging partnership spanning developmental sectors such as health, agriculture and the digital economy as well as cooperation in defense and security.

On Defense Cooperation, both Ministers expressed keen interest to continue to work together in this sector, including through the regular or upgraded official-level interaction among defense agencies, the opening of the resident Defense Attaché office in Manila, consideration of India’s offer for a concessional Line of Credit to meet the Philippines’ defense requirements, acquisition of naval assets, and expansion of training and joint exercises on maritime security and disaster response, among others.

Dr. S. Jaishankar highlighted the growing engagement between businesses on both sides, including through nearly thirty business-to-business meetings held over the past three years in different sectors. EAM and SFA agreed to encourage their companies to sustain their engagement and explore new investment opportunities.

They also emphasized the need for expanded connectivity and ease of travel to enable the growth of tourism, trade & investment and people-to-people exchange between the two countries. EAM and SFA acknowledged the implementation of initiatives by both sides to facilitate travel.

Secretary Manalo also delivered the 42nd Sapru House Lecture on Shared Values and Common Outlook: The Journey of Philippines-India Cooperation as a joint project under the MoU signed between the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the Philippines and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in November 2017.

H.E. Mr. Enrique A. Manalo in his lecture mentioned that ASEAN places great importance on India’s unwavering commitment to ASEAN centrality within the regional security architecture. India’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, introduced in 2018, converges with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, especially in their mutual goal of maintaining a free, open, and inclusive region, and in their emphasis on maritime and development cooperation and adherence to international law.

“While the Philippines’ collaboration with India within regional and international platforms is an important agenda, my mission in New Delhi this week will focus on advancing bilateral cooperation. We are redrawing focus on facets of our partnerships in health security, food and energy security, cyber and outer-space cooperation, and maritime security,” he added.

H.E. Mr. Enrique A. Manalo mentioned about the establishment of the Philippine Space Agency in 2019 and calls for a stronger collaboration with India, including promoting equitable and democratic access to outer space as part of the global commons, through norms that protect the interests of all and upholding the common good.

Both countries will be commemorating the 75th year of their diplomatic relations in 2024.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *