MANILA - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday praised the Philippines' service sector, saying it's no wonder many of New Delhi's information technology companies have invested in Manila.
The Indian leader hailed the Philippine government's efforts to implement "change," noting the current administration's ambitious infrastructure push and intensive anti-corruption drive to make the business environment more conducive.
"No wonder so many of our top IT companies have invested here. They (Philippine government) are creating thousands of jobs and promoting the Philippine service sector worldwide," Modi said in his keynote address at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business and Investment Summit.
India, which used to house the largest number of voice-based business process outsourcing (BPO) services in the world, was overtaken by the Philippines in 2011.
Since then, the BPO industry has served as an economic lifeline for the Philippines, employing over 1.5 million people. The industry is also one of the top 2 earners of foreign exchange.
Modi said at present, India is positioning itself to be a "global manufacturing hub" and hopes that Southeast Asian countries see the same business potential in New Delhi that he sees in the region.
"Just as India sees business opportunity in the region, I am sure ASEAN recognizes business potential in India," he said.
Modi also noted similarities between the Philippines and India, saying the two countries are among the fastest growing economies in the world.
"Here in Philippines, also the government want to see change, bring about inclusive growth," he said.
"We are both pluralistic societies and vibrant democracies," he added.
The Indian leader is in the Philippines participating in the ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings.