The Embassy of India Manila, in cooperation with the Confederation of Industry (CII) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) organized a business conference on India-Philippines Infrastructure Cooperation on Thursday, 18 February 2021.

The Conference was addressed by Mr. Arthur P. Tugade, Secretary, Department of Transportation and Mr. Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines as well as Ambassador of India to the Philippines Mr Shambhu S Kumaran and the Philippines Ambassador to India Mr Ramon S Bagatsing Jr. Over 200 representatives of Indian and Filipino companies attended the conference.

The Conference was an outcome of discussions between Ambassador of India to Philippines with Finance Secretary of Philippines, Mr Carlos G Dominguez, who had invited more Indian companies to engage with the rapidly expanding infrastructure sector in the Philippinesunder President Rodrigo Duterte’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” program.

Ambassador pointed to the well-established capabilities of Indian companies in a range of infrastructure sectors and their successful implementation of projects worldwide, and sought a pathway to facilitate engagement of Indian firms in the Philippines.

The Conference was accordingly held in an innovative match-making format with the Department of Transportation of the Philippines presenting a slate of ongoing and prospective projects in aviation and airports, railways, maritime and ship-building and road transport for potential involvement by Indian companies. This was followed by presentations by senior representatives from six leading Indian infrastructure companies Larsen & Toubro, GMR, IRCON, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP INFRA), Adani Ports & SEZ and RITES Ltd about their respective potential, capabilities and interests.

Indian companies are increasingly active in the Philippines. The infrastructure major GMR Group has established a strong presence, having recently completed the Clark Airport construction project following on the Mactan-Cebu Airport. Based on deliberations at the conference, several Indian firms are considering entering the Philippines infrastructure market, valued at US$ 343 billion until 2025.

The event concluded with the exchange of contact details between the participating Indian companies and the government agencies in Philippines. This outcome driven business event is likely to promote greater Indian business participation in the Build, Build, Build Program of Philippines as well as lead to active tie-ups between Indian and Filipino companies to explore infrastructure projects in India.