News Release

PBBM thanks India for agreeing to supply PH with non-basmati white rice, hopes to forge closer ties with the South Asian country

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday expressed gratitude to India for its decision to export 295,000 metric tons of non-basmati white rice to the Philippines.

The President also conveyed his intention to deepen collaboration with India in various areas such as agriculture, infrastructure and defense.

“I’d like to thank you and please extend my gratitude to your Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) for the timely provision of imported rice that we bought from India. The very critical… a very crucial time since we are in the right now suffering the effects [of] drought,” President Marcos said during the courtesy call in Malacañang of Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs.

“I hope… we hope to do better and I hope to continue this trade with India, but not only in agri products but in other [areas]. The ambassador has been working very hard to promote all of these different exchanges and welcome once again,” Marcos said.

The President said the Philippines is focusing on agriculture to ensure food security, noting the country’s initial exchanges with India.

Marcos said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has come to a conclusion, or a joint consensus on the need to strengthen the supply chains—both the physical and digital supply chains.

Part of boosting connectivity is carrying out major infrastructure projects, Marcos said, saying the government has just undertaken the rehabilitation and modernization of its main airports in Manila.

For his part, the Indian official said Prime Minister Modi looks forward to welcoming President Marcos in India for a state visit, which the President welcomed.

It would be nice if the President’s visit coincides with 75th anniversary celebration of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, he said.

In October last year, India approved shipping 295,000 metric tons of non-basmati white rice to the Philippines, the highest allocation it gave to a foreign country after lifting the restriction to specific nations.

India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification dated Oct. 18 that the Philippines together with Nepal, Cameroon, Cote d’ Ivore, Malaysia, Seychelles, and the Republic of Guinea are eligible for the exports.

India, the world’s largest rice exporter, banned the export of non-basmati rice in July 2023 in a bid to allay rise in prices in its domestic market. PND