KARACHI: Ambassador of the Philippines, Domingo d Lucenario, JR has said that Pakistan-Philippines Joint Economic Interactive Session will be organized after the holy month of Ramadan in Islamabad which will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas on how to further enhance trade relations between the two countries.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Filipino Ambassador said that his government also plans to host a Pakistani business delegation’s visit to Manila and other cities in Philippines in the month of September 2014 with a view to promote business-to-business interactions. In this regard, he invited KCCI members to become part of this delegation’s visit to Philippines.
Vice Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI, Anjum Nisar, President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muffasar A. Malik, Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, Former Vice President KCCI, Nasir Mehmood and other Managing Committee members attended the meeting whereas Honorary Consul of the Philippines, Vaqar Ahson, Commercial Counselor, Embassy of the Philippines in New Delhi – India, John Paul B. INIGO, and Economic Officer & Attaché of Embassy of the Philippines, Helen R. Firme-Subido were also present on the occasion.
The Ambassador, while commenting on existing trade volume of $114 million between Pakistan and Philippines, said that the modest trade volume can substantially be raised by enhancing exchange of trade delegations, exploring new opportunities and identifying hurdles in way of smooth trade. “Pakistan and Philippines have been enjoying cordial relations since past 65 years and both countries continue to support each other. Although good diplomatic and friendly relations exist between the two countries but efforts must be made to make these relations stronger”, he added.
He said that Pakistan was the sixth largest country in terms of population, which makes it a big market whereas Philippines with a population 100 million also offers immense opportunities to Pakistani businessmen and industrialists.
Underscoring the need to liberalize visa policy, the Ambassador informed that the Philippines was reviewing its visa policy which will further be liberalized by June 2014 in order to facilitate the business community of Pakistan.
Earlier, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki said that Pakistan and Philippines share cordial bilateral relations and efforts have been made to further strengthen the existing relations between the two countries.
He said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Philippines was around $114.6 million in FY13. Philippines imported products worth of $87.3 million from Pakistan, mostly including cereals, garments and pharmaceutical drugs. Philippines exported to Pakistan were valued at about $27.3 million in FY13.
“There is a significant potential between the two countries in various fields like agriculture products, furniture, IT services and electronic items to increase bilateral trade”, he added.
He stressed that the business communities of the two sides should join hands and undertake joint ventures while the chambers of commerce of both nations must interact with each other for trade promotion.
Abdullah Zaki also requested the Filipino Ambassador to extend support to Karachi Chamber’s My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition scheduled to be organized at Karachi Expo Center from June 20th to June 22nd, 2014. “This exhibition will give Filipino business community a perfect opportunity to showcase various products and services in front of more than 1 million visitors”, he added.
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