India-Philippines Relationship

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July 10, 2023

Why in news?

Recently, 5th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) was held in New Delhi.

What is the history of India-Philippines relation?

  • Political Relations – Diplomatic relations between India and Philippines were established in 1949.
  • Economic Relations – Bilateral trade has increased from 1.89 billion USD in 2015-16 to 2.84 billion USD in 2021-22.
  • India’s exports to Philippines is more when compared to its exports.      
  • Defence - RIMPAC is a multilateral military exercise between India, Philippines and other countries.
  • India and Philippines also participate in ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise.
  • Defence ties were significantly enhanced with the signing in 2022 of a contract to supply the BrahMos missile system.
  • Cultural Exchange - The Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the two countries was renewed for the period 2019-2023.
  • Education and Health -Philippines is one of the beneficiaries of India’s flagship capacity building programme – Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).
  • International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is located in Manila, Philippines.
  • India continues to be the largest supplier of pharma products to Philippines.
  • Philippines was the first ASEAN Member State to grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
  • Diaspora - The Indian community (bulk of Punjabis and Sindhis) in the Philippines is estimated to be around 1,50,000. 

India-Phillipines 2023 ties

What are the recent developments?

  • High level visits - 4th Joint defence cooperation meeting and 5th joint commission on bilateral cooperation was held in New Delhi.
  • Fintech sector - An MoU has been signed for partnership in innovative technologies, fintech industry, digital governance, payment linkages and other related areas.
  • Space - As Philippines works to become a spacefaring country by 2030, more vigorous capacity-building between the Philippine Space Agency and the ISRO are on the horizon.
  • Energy Sector - The sheer volume of investments and pledges coming into wind power in the first half of 2023 tell of its ascending presence in the energy sector.

What are the concerns?

  • Regional security architecture - Fluctuation of power between China and USA.
  • China assertive role - China’s aggressive influence over South China Sea.

What lies ahead? 

  • There is a need to harness the power of the Indo-Pacific as a catalyst for growth, more intensified regional cooperation is essential.
  • Stronger economic integration, improved connectivity, and increased innovation are key to support the region as a global economic powerhouse.
  •  As champions of the rule of law and inclusive multilateralism, the Philippines and India play important roles which would lead to partnership for 21st century.

Quick Facts

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • Membership - ASEAN is an intergovernmental organization of 10 Southeast Asian countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • India is not a member of ASEAN.
  • Objective - To promote social and political stability.
  • Secretariat of ASEAN in Jakarta.
  • India shifted its policy from Look East to Act East to leverage the Geopolitical advantage with ASEAN countries.


  1.    Indian Express | India-Philippines Relation
  2.    Ministry of External Affairs | Bilateral relation
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