By Virgilio DC Galvez
The chairman of the Philippines-India Business Council on Thursday expressed confidence that Manila will increase its share of trade with New Delhi which is currently heavily in favor of India.
“We will increase our share but to double or triple it, we need a strategy, a plan,” Johnny Chotrani said in an interview at the five-day India-ASEAN Business Fair and Conclave which ends on Sunday.
He leads a group of 18 exhibitors participating at the event, including the Philippine International Trading Corporation, Monde Nissin Corp., Liwayway Marketing Corp., Del Monte Philippines, Inc., RFM Corp., and Splash International Corp.
Last year, bilateral trade between India and the Philippines reached US$ 1.061.84 billion, with US$ 748.77 million comprising of Indian exports to the Philippines while India’s imports from the Philippines amounted to a total of US$ 313.07 million.
According to an Indian embassy report, trade was sluggish between India and the Philippines after a trade pact was signed in 1979. It picked up in the 1990s after an exchange of visits by India’s President and Prime Minister and then President Fidel Ramos.
Indian exports include frozen buffalo meat, iron and steel; vehicles; oil seeds and olea etc.; rubber and articles thereof; pharmaceutical products; electrical & electronic machinery, and organic chemicals. The Philippines exports electrical and electronic machinery and equipment; mineral fuels and mineral oils; newsprint paper and paperboard; vehicles; and optical instruments. (PNA)