- The government approved signing of an agreement between India and the Philippines on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
- The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for prevention and investigation of customs offences.
- Four agreements were signed between the two countries, which covered areas of defence, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and tie-up between think-tanks.
- PM of India visited to the Philippines, during which he will attend the 15th India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit.
- This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM to this Southeast Asian nation in 36 years after the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981, though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Philippines in 2007 for the ASEAN summit.
- He also visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, an urban locality around 65 km from Manila — the capital of the Philippines — and interacted with several Indian scientists working there.
- The flood-resistant rice varieties that can withstand 14-18 days of submergence would help farmers and enhance their income. “Salinity tolerant rice varieties will help farmers where the soil is saline, for example Kutch.
- The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, comprising more than 7,000 islands.
- Its capital, Manila, is famous for its waterfront promenade and centuries-old Chinatown, Binondo. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila.
Source: Indian Express