PCCI explores partnership with Indian counterparts
PCCI President Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico met with His Excellency Shambhu S. Kumaran, the new Ambassador of India to the Philippines, last September 1, 2020 via Zoom to discuss prospects of further enhancing trade and investment ties between the two countries particularly on innovation, startups, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT-PBM, and education.
Amb. Yujuico was joined by PCCI Chair Ma. Alegria S. Limjoco and officers of the PCCI International Affairs Committee, including its Chairman Renato Simbulan, Vice Chair for Asia and ASEAN Roberto C. Amores, Vice Chair for Americas Jesus Varela, and Philippines – India Business Council Chairman Mr. Johnny N. Chotrani. Amb. Kumaran was accompanied by Nishikant Singh, First Secretary for Commerce of the Embassy of India.
Amb. Yujuico expressed that innovation is the primary advocacy of PCCI for the next two years, and that COVID-19 did not hinder businesses to innovate. Rather, it has accelerated innovation because of the need to adapt and continue to find ways to produce and sell their products.
He shared that the PCCI is completing an innovation center to nurture startups to connect young people, bankers, lawyers, among others, which will be completed by September 30. He mentioned as well that PCCI is helping the government in setting up smart cities. It is also developing an e-marketplace for SMEs to promote their products and this will be inaugurated during the 46th PBC&E on October 7 and 8, 2020.
The Embassy of India presented a flagship initiative, Startup India, which was launched by the Prime Minister of India last August 15, 2015, helping the country to have the world’s 2nd largest startup ecosystem.
Amb. Kumaran discussed possible ways to move forward with the India-Philippines cooperation on innovation and startups such as setting up an institutional mechanism for collaboration between India and Philippines startup ecosystems, exchange of best practices to support startups, identification of innovation hubs, holding of major startup events, roadshows/buyers sellers meet and matchmaking, and pilot projects.
With regard to healthcare and pharmaceuticals, it was emphasized during the meeting that the Philippines can learn from the best practices of India on health technology, and PCCI members may be able to find potential Indian pharmaceutical partner companies.
Amb. Kumaran also suggested that the Philippine education sector can engage or tie-up with a school in Gujarat to develop entrepreneurs and establish centers as well as facilitate possible exchange of information/ideas and faculties.
Moreover, farming and manufacturing were cited as possible joint ventures between the Philippines and India.