Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran
Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran  (Photo by Yummie Dingding)

India markets locally-made defense equipment to Phl

Lade Jean Kabagani

The Indian government on Friday urged the Philippines to acquire defense equipment from Indian companies as it reiterated its willingness to help in the country’s military modernization initiatives.

In a seminar on Friday, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran highlighted both countries’ growing synergy in terms of addressing their common shared security challenges.

“And as two democracies, India and the Philippines have to work together to ensure that we create a regional and global environment that will allow us to address the fundamental requirements of our two nations, that is to create the enabling environment for our countries to grow,” Kumaran said.

Kumaran likewise touted the capabilities of Indian firms “across domains with cutting edge” to produce quality defense equipment and offer it at affordable prices.

At least 18 Indian companies promoted their locally-made defense assets, during the Defense Industry seminar and B2B interactions, which was attended by some military personnel and officials from the Department of National Defense on Friday in Makati City.

Kumaran said the continuing engagement between the Philippines and India is significant in fortifying their defense relations.

“This is a critical component of future defense partnership because we recognize that countries such as the Philippines—which have broad national security interests—will need to have some domestic industrial capacity, and we'd like to offer partnerships from India in building that capacity," he stressed.

Kumaran also noted that India sees the Philippines as its vital partner within the Indo-Pacific region.

“We are invested together in working for a peaceful Indo-Pacific… We have, at multiple times, underline that commitment at the highest political level,” he said.

The defense and security cooperation, he added, remains a critical element of the Philippines-India bilateral partnership.

“I invite Philippine industry and the Philippine Armed Forces to look more carefully at India’s experience… because India is a country that has managed to create national capabilities in the defense sector in a relatively short timeframe, through a pursuit of aggressive policies, and innovative adjustments in how it works on defense equipment so therefore, I would urge you from the Philippine side, to look at India's experience deeply,” Kumaran urged.