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India, Philippines co-chair joint commission on bilateral cooperation

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) India and Philippines on Thursday co-chaired the 5th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) here.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, defence, security, maritime cooperation, trade & investment, health, tourism, agriculture, financial technology, and also discussed regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

The Indian side was led by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, while the Philippines was represented by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo.

Manalo is visiting the at the invitation of Jaishankar to co-chair 5th India-Philippines JCBC.

“I really look forward to sitting down with you today and discussing how to take our cooperation forward. I would also like to express my appreciation for your participation in the Global South Summit,” Jaishankar told the Philippines delegation prior to the meeting.

“And I truly believe today that we are two countries who share so much, who look at global developments and continental developments with so much convergence and who have so many economic complementarities.”

On his part, Manalo expressed appreciation for the invitation to discuss the JCBC.

“India is a priority partner of the Philippines in science and technology, space cooperation. We have large diasporas in our respective countries. Especially in the last five years, more and more of your countrymen have been coming to the Philippines to visit and study and to further facilitate the flow of people through increased commercial flights.

“I am very pleased to announce that the Philippines has ratified the updated Air Services Agreement with India,” he added.

According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Manalo’s visit will provide an opportunity to comprehensively review bilateral relations between India and Philippines and to explore ways to further deepen and strengthen them.

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