THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it has received indications of interest for possible Indian investments in modern jeepneys and electronics manufacturing.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez met virtually with Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu S. Kumaran Monday to discuss trade and investment cooperation between the two economies.

“Ambassador Kumaran shared India’s plans to penetrate jeepney manufacturing and electronic manufacturing industry in the country,” the DTI said in a statement Tuesday.

“He stated that India is also interested to learn about geothermal energy from the Philippines as part of its objective to further renewable energy trade plans.”

At the meeting, Mr. Lopez reiterated his department’s pitch on the Philippines as a potential site to complement India’s Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, vaccine, essential medicine, and biologicals industries.

India is one of the potential vaccine technology sources being considered by Philippine companies exploring the possibility of manufacturing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines domestically.

The Philippines and India could also work together in information technology infrastructure, including data centers, Mr. Lopez added.

The DTI is currently in talks with India for a potential preferential trade agreement. India backed out of the 15-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed last year due to concerns about the deal’s possible repercussions on its farmers and small businesses.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority in its own meeting with Mr. Kumaran last month pitched potential investment opportunities in pharmaceuticals and defense manufacturing in the Philippines. Indian companies registered under the investment promotion agency are in the information technology, outsourcing, and manufacturing industries. India was the Philippines’ 13th top export destination last year, with goods valued at $548 million, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. India was also the Philippines’ 13th largest source of imports in 2020, with $1.5 billion worth of goods. — Jenina P. Ibañez