Manila. President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said the Indian community in the Philippines has been a strong bond of friendship between the two countries for decades and called upon to avail of the opportunities that India offered for innovation, research and innovation. Addressing the gathering while attending the Indian Community Reception hosted by Jaideep Mazumdar, Ambassador of India to the Philippines, here, Mr Kovind said, 'The size of the diaspora has grown remarkably over the last few years. All of them are contributing to the economy and society of the Philippines and to the image of India and Indians in the Philippines.'
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The President said, 'in our efforts to build a new India, we need Indian Diaspora’s support and helping hand.' He called upon them to avail of the opportunities that India today offers -- for innovation, investment, research and education. India’s flagship initiatives such as 'Make in India', 'Digital India', 'Skill India', Ganga Rejuvenation Project, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities and Jal Jeevan Mission seek their partnership, added Mr Kovind.
The President said India’s bilateral economic engagement in terms of investment and presence of Indian companies in the Philippines is on the upswing. India-Philippines trade has risen to nearly 2.5 billion dollar. 'However, for our two fast-growing economies, the quantum of our bilateral trade is still modest. There is much potential which needs to be tapped,' he explained.
He expressed confidence that with Indian community’s initiatives and enterprise; we can do much more to bring prosperity to the two countries. Earlier in the day, the President unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Miriam College, Quezon City in the presence of the Mayor of the City and other dignitaries.
On the occasion, the President said this bust of Mahatma Gandhi is a gift from the people of India to people of Philippines. But the Mahatma belongs to all peoples, all cultures and all societies. May he continue to guide us in our shared journey of peace, harmony and sustainable development for all.
On Monday morning, the President will leave for Japan – the final leg of his state visit to two nations.