India's Involvement with Philippines

India's Relations with Philippines

While the “Look East” policy has been helping India to come closer to next-door ASEAN countries during the last fifteen years, the ASEAN-led East Asian summit and the subsequent visit of the President A P J Abdul Kalam to the Philippines in February 2006 have finally brought India and the Philippines to greater prominence on their respective foreign policy radars. Although the “Look East” policy led to the identification of areas of bilateral cooperation and signing of several agreements on those issues, the effective implementation of these agreements has begun only recently, during the last four years. With the conclusion of the East Asian Summit at Cebu in February 2007, India and the Philippines find themselves closer to this larger geopolitical grouping, and as key players in the process of pan-East Asian integration.

During the visit of President Abdul Kalam to the Philippines in February 2006, India and the Philippines signed four major agreements covering conventional issues such as defense and trade and also new areas of cooperation such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and so on.

There was already significant scale of engagement between the two countries during the last six decades or so. The trade volume further increased from US$339 million in 2002 to US$730 million in 2006. As an expression of the growing relationship between the two countries, India relinquished its candidature for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2004-05 in support for the Philippines’ candidature. Being members of G-20, both India and the Philippines, known as ‘hardliners,’ have worked together in WTO meetings in forcing the rich nations to cut their farm subsidies before making any commitment and in pushing the agenda and concerns of the developing countries.

Riding on the waves of Nehru’s Asianism and anti-colonialism, the two countries had established their diplomatic relationship in 1949 immediately after their independence and subsequently signed various treaties and agreements,

Bilateral Treaties and Agreements

Below is a list of important agreements for closer ties between the two countries signed since 1949:

Air Services Agreement (Dormant status) the bilateral air-services pact signed in 1949 was revised in July 2005 enabling direct flight between the two countries. (1949)

Cultural Exchange Agreement (1969)

MOU for Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Agriculture

Between ICAR and PCCARD (1976)
Trade Agreement (1979)

Basic Agreement on Scientific & Technological Cooperation (1987)

Basic Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (1990)

Convention for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention Of Fiscal Evasion Agreement for Cooperation for the Utilization of Atomic Energy For Peaceful Purposes (1991)

MOU on Enhanced Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy (1996)

MOU on Scientific and Technological Cooperation with focus on Pharmaceuticals (1997)

MOU between the National Small Scale Industries’ Corporation Limited, India and the Bureau of Small and Medium Business Development, Philippines (1997)

MOU on Holding of Annual Policy Level Foreign Office Consultations (2000)

Agreement for Promotion and Protection of Investments (2000)

MOU between the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and the Philippine National Oil Company (2003)

MOU between the GAIL and the Department of Energy, Philippines (2003)

Extradition Treaty (2004)

Agreement on Defence Cooperation (February 2006)

Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism (February 2006)

MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and Related Fields (February 2006)