The Philippine Trade and Investment Centre New Delhi, Commercial Section of the Philippine Embassy in India, recently presented trade and investment opportunities to two groups of major Kolkata based businessmen in a recent trip led by Philippine Ambassador Maria Teresita C. Daza to India’s largest eastern city (7th in India) and capital of the State of West Bengal last November 6 and 7, 2015.

Philippine Commercial Counselor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio presented to two major business groups based in Kolkata in separate occasions, namely: the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry during its Annual Meeting and to the Bengal Chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI Bengal).

Speaking and presenting before the State of West Bengal’s major companies and business leaders comprising the 800-strong membership of the MCC Chamber of Commerce held at the city’s iconic Lalit Great Eastern Hotel on November 7, 2015, Commercial Counselor Ignacio highlighted priority sectors for Trade and Investments which include PTIC New Delhi’s priority focus sectors for trade and investment promotion with India. These sectors are as follows: 1) Investments in IT/BPO Sector; 2) Investments in Automotive Parts and Accessories; 3) Promotion of Philippine Universities and Education to prospective Indian students 4) Exports of Philippine High End Design Driven products such as Furniture and Home Furnishings; and 5) Opportunities in the Philippine PPP Program and Infrastructure Development, among others.

The Ambassador and Commercial Counselor were introduced by MCC Chamber of Commerce President, Mr. Arun Kumar Saraf in a very well informed speech which highlighted Philippines India trade relations and called for stronger business cooperation in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and medicine, film making and entertainment and IT /BPO.

Ambassador Daza, on addressing the Chamber, highlighted the two countries’ cultural and societal similarities and recent gains in the Philippine economy which makes it a compelling country for India to do business with, and to achieve a better trade balance, which currently stands heavily in India’s favor.

Counselor Ignacio also highlighted the most important value propositions which have helped position the Philippines as among the top emerging markets and best performing economies in the world. Citing the country’s people as its best single asset, Ignacio also highlighted that the Philippines’ 100-million population with a rising middle class and purchasing power has made the country an attractive investment and trade destination. In addition, the entry into force of the Asean Economic Community makes the Philippines an ideal entry point for Indian companies intending to access the 600 million market of ASEAN member countries. The Philippines is also the only ASEAN member country with EU GSP Plus privileges providing zero tariffs across 60,000 product lines exported by the country to the European Union, while enjoying US GSP plus privileges at the same time.

Oracle Executive Mr. Ashutosh Mundra, who frequently travels to the Philippines for his company, gave a testimonial speech extolling the advantages of doing business with the Philippines and its impressive work-force.

The above opportunities were well received with high levels of interest from the audience during the MCC Annual Meeting.

The embassy officials also addressed the city’s most successful real estate developers during the meeting and presentation before members of the CREDAI Bengal at the Spring Club on November 6, 2015. Counselor Ignacio showed interactive videos and a comprehensive presentation which offered opportunities in Tourism Infrastructure Development, Investments in Hotels and Resorts and Opportunities for Indian contractors to participate in the country’s PPP Programs and Projects, with a tip that the best way to penetrate the Philippine market and take advantages of the opportunities is to form strategic alliances and joint venture partnerships with major players from the Philippine real estate and construction industries, citing the example of the GVK-Megawide partnership which succesfully won the bidding to develop the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The series of two-day business meetings was successfully organized by the Philippine Honorary Consul General to Kolkata, Mr. Deepak Kumar Khemka, a prominent and well-respected businessman in Kolkata, and his team, to welcome and introduce the newly arrived Philippine Embassy Officials to the business and filipino communities in Kolkata.

The Philippine Trade and Investment Centre New Delhi is the Commercial Section of the Embassy of the Philippines in India and the representative office of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

KOLKATA PTIC ROADSHOWseated from left to right: Mr. Arpit Dhandhania, MCCI Co-Chairman Committee on Foreign Trade, H.E. Ambassador Maria Teresita C. Daza, MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mr. Arun Kumar Saraf, Philippine Commercial Counsellor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio and Philippine Honorary Consul General to Kolkata, Mr. Deepak Kumar Khemka.

KOLKATA PTIC ROADSHOW2Commercial Counselor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio, Consul Fernando Beup, Jr. and H.E. Ambassador Maria Teresita C. Daza, presenting investment opportunities for members of CREDAI Bengal (The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India)