President Duterte mulls more investment from India on cheaper medicines


President Duterte held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. (Presidential photo/Courtesy Malacanang)

 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, November 13, said he is mulling more investments from India, particularly in the manufacture of cheaper medicine.

President Duterte held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

“We want to discuss trade relations further and especially, the most important one is that… and I’m happy that you’re here because if we can’t find the medicines, and you have it and it is [in] India [where] people who [can] really afford to buy it,” President Duterte said.

He said there might be Indian investors who may be interested in seeking a business venture in the Philippines in producing more affordable medicines.

“We would [be] happy to see you building an investment that would include the medicines,” Duterte said.

The President also lauded the Indian-made Mahindra cars, which are being used by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“It’s the one that’s being used and there are a lot of them… almost 1,000 and it’s good and it’s being used now. They are outside, they are guarding this place,” Duterte said.

“These are the things that would interest us really. There’s just a need for us to talk further and I might just send my Secretary of Finance and Agriculture Secretary, and the Department of Trade, and the Department of Health. I’m more interested, really, in the medicines because we are a poor country,” he said.

“And if there is an investor that could be interested, an Indian citizen of yours who would want to venture in our place, we would be happy,” Duterte added.

For his part, Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked President Duterte for the hospitality extended to him and his delegation, noting that it is his first time to visit the Philippines and his first time to have a bilateral meet with President Duterte.

He also thanked the President for including the music of Indian artist Rama Hari during the program at the opening ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit.

“With this particular program, you have touched the hearts of the Indian people and you have won their hearts,” Modi said. (PND)