The Philippines has at least $566.92 million worth of unrealized export potential in India, according to an official of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).
During the Markets of the World forum hosted by the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), Jhino B. Ilano, assistant director of DTI-EMB, said these exports could come from electronics, Halal-based products, personal care and beauty products, coconut products, and other organic products such as dairy products and eggs.
According to a statement released by the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) on Wednesday, the DTI-EMB official said Filipino exporters can also take advantage of the Asean-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) where the Philippines enjoys reduced tariffs for 94 percent of exports to India.
As he spoke before over 60 participants at the forum, Ilano shared that total trade with India has been growing by 4.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2018 to 2022, reaching $2.8 billion in 2022. He noted that exports were at $2.1 billion while imports amounted to $701.4 million.
India ranks as the country’s 15th largest trading partner with a 1.31 percent share of total trade with the Philippines. It is 16th among the country’s export markets with a 0.89 percent share of total exports, and 14th among import suppliers with a 1.53 percent share of total imports.
For her part, WTCMM chairman Pamela D. Pascual said WTCMM is putting together a Philippine delegation to participate in the annual World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) Global Business Forum hosted by WTC Bengaluru, India in March 2024.
“India is such an exciting market with many positive developments happening in various sectors,” Pascual said.
“Progress is seen in trade, investment, economic, scientific, and technical cooperation. With the world’s exponential growth in digitalization and globalization, both countries have emerged as frontliners in the service sectors, particularly in the business process outsourcing industry. WTCA alone has over 60 license holders across India, making it one of the largest WTC contingents in the world,” the WTCMM chairman noted.
For his part, Raju Mandhyan, former chairman of the Philippines India Business Council (PIBC) said investment potentials in India are in the fields of beauty and wellness, tourism and travel, luxury goods, food and beverages, and aqua and seafood products.
Imports from India, meanwhile, include engineering goods like machinery, equipment and components, pharmaceuticals, and educational content, he added.
In August 2023, DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said that the Terms of Reference for the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with India could be issued this year.
Rodolfo earlier said India could be another destination for Philippine bananas, pineapples and mangoes.