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PHindia Filipino Indian Community

INDIA Announces Visa-on-Arrival Privilege to Filipinos.

By Vishnu Hathiramani

Manmohan SinghAddressing at the 8th India-Asean summit, last October 30th in Hanoi, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced visa on arrival facility to nationals of Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos. This will be implemented from Jan 2011.

Keen on India's deeper cooperation with the South East Asia, Singh pressed for early completion of free trade agreement in Services, Investment and implementation of pact on Goods signed in 2009.

"The conclusion of a Services and Investment Agreement will be an important step in our goal of comprehensive economic cooperation," he told in the gathering.

He also announced that India would set up a Centre for Tracking and Data Reception and an imaging facility for Asean countries.

Referring to cooperation in political and security matters, the Prime Minister said: "These are important areas of our cooperation not only because of the common threats that we face but also because such cooperation helps to built mutual trust and understanding."

This is a big boost for Tourism and travel, and will now make the long awaited direct flight between India and Philippines a reality. PAL has announced that they would fly directly to India by March 2011. It is expected another airline, not from the Philippines, to announce soon a direct flight between Clark and India, with a technical stopover in Malaysia. The prospects are tremendous.

Philippines should lift its visa requirement for Indian nationals, if reciprocity is to be followed. It would further boost bigger investments in the I.T. section. Filipinos going to India has tripled in the last three years, while Indians coming here have not shown much increase.

Presently, India allows few countries with this privilege. To include Philippines is a great boost for our trade figures, and would definitely cross the US$ 1Billion mark soon.

In another move, the Indian Government would grant 20 I.T. scholarships to Filipinos each year for the next five years. This would also be granted to all the members of the ASEAN countries. Under the Initiative for Asean Integration, India would also upgrade the level of youth exchanges as well as establish vocal training centers in each of the grouping's countries.

To boost ASEAN INDIA tourism, Asean would also establish a promotional chapter for tourism in Mumbai. India would be hosting the commemorative India-Asean summit in India 2012.

Great news. Namaste Mabuhay.

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