DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 January) — Major Indian business players have expressed optimism to pour in investments in the Philippines despite the security threats after they forged $1.25 billion in business deals with their Filipino counterparts during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte on January 24 to 26.
The President announced this upon arrival at the Davao International Airport early Saturday. He said business agreements signed during the Philippine-India Business Forum last January 26 were mostly in the sectors of IT-Business Process Outsourcing, tourism, hospitality, aviation and pharmaceuticals.
He said these new investments will generate around 10,000 jobs and promise to bring “positive change in the lives of our people.”
He said the Indian businessmen did not raise security concerns about coming to the country.
Duterte said he told the Indian businessmen that they can invest in Luzon, Visayas, and some parts of Mindanao – Davao and Butuan – except the Western side, including the Zamboanga area.
Duterte visited India to grace the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Commemorative Summit on January 25 and the 25th ASEAN-India Relations and the India’s Republic Day on the following day.
He said the two nations have also agreed to enhance two-way trade and investment.
Duterte added he urged India to expand the cooperation with the Philippines in the areas of defense, counterterrorism and fight against illegal drugs, as they acknowledged that India, and ASEAN face similar challenges and threats on land and at sea.
Duterte was chair of the ASEAN last year.
He added the ASEAN can come up with a common platform for dialogue and a venue for concerted actions against the security and stability of nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We need to go beyond consultation. More than talk, we need to move together to deter, interdict and neutralize those that seek to destabilize our region,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)