India and the Philippines are looking to step up defence ties after the Southeast Asian nation’s high-profile purchase of a BrahMos missile. Negotiations on a defence line of credit have picked up, according to persons aware of the matter.
While the exact quantum of assistance being offered under negotiation, officials from the Philippines have visited a number of Indian defence firms including Kalyani Strategic Systems to examine their products.
“Both Ministers emphasized the utility of maritime domain awareness, and in this context called for early operationalization of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the White Shipping Agreement between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG),” it also says.
The Indian Coast Guard and Philippines Coast Guard are also working on an MoU on Enhanced Maritime Cooperation
This comes at a time when the Philippines is facing increasing military pressure from China over disputed islands in the South China Sea. In early August, the Philippines accused Chinese vessels of trespassing into its waters and preventing the resupply of troops stationed in the Spratly islands. This has snowballed into a diplomatic spat with President Marcos of the Philippines publicly stating his concern over Chinese actions