New Delhi: The 5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and the visiting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Thursday.
During the meeting, both leaders engaged in fruitful discussions encompassing various crucial areas of cooperation, such as trade and investment, defence, health, medicine, agriculture, and more. Notably, the Philippines Foreign Secretary announced the ratification of the updated Air Service Agreement between the two nations.
Emphasising India’s status as a priority partner of the Philippines in science and technology, including space cooperation, Secretary Manalo expressed optimism regarding the potential for further expansion in this realm.
Moreover, the External Affairs Minister underscored the importance of maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific region while emphasising the significance of the rule of law and inclusive multilateralism.
In a gesture of gratitude, Secretary Manalo extended his appreciation to Jaishankar and the Government of India for their warm hospitality and reception extended to him and his delegation. He also acknowledged the existing areas of collaboration between the two countries, highlighting that India holds the 15th position as the Philippines’ trading partner. Both nations are actively working towards strengthening these ties. It is noteworthy that this year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and the Philippines.