Philippines envoy stresses boosting bilateral trade

LAHORE:Ambassador of Philippines Daniel Ramos said on Tuesday that both the countries should make collective efforts to boost mutual trade that did not match the existing potential.

He wad talking to the business community here att Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) where the Chamber’s President Mian Tariq Misbah presented the address of welcome while Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.

The ambassador said, “It is time to resume normal business activities as Philippines and Pakistan had huge untapped potential in oil, pharmaceutical, citrus fruits, rice, medical and surgical instruments, construction materials and various other sectors of economy.”

He mentioned that there was lot of need for construction material in Philippines because of its infrastructure development programme. He also underlined the need for joint ventures in textile sector.

The Ambassador said that Philippine’s export electronics, machinery, motor parts, fresh tropical fruits and processed food to Pakistan. He said that renowned brands of Philippines were keen to get place in Pakistani market.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that strengthening of the trade relations between Pakistan and Philippines would result in bringing both the countries close to each other. He said that private sectors of the two countries together needed to make some concerted efforts to succeed in exploiting the untapped potential of bilateral trade.

He said that the volume of bilateral trade was 205 million dollars in 2010 and after almost a decade, it stood at around 170 million dollars in 2019. “Traditionally, the balance of trade has been in favour of Pakistan but we can only succeed in benefiting each other when we will become bigger partners of trade,” he observed.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that Philippines was ranked at 34th place among the top exporting countries and came at 50th place for the top importing countries for Pakistan. He said that Pakistan’s exports to Philippines were constantly ranging in between 115 to 140 million dollars for the last three years. Similarly, Pakistan’s imports from Philippines averaged at around 65 million dollars.

“We need to give required boost to our trade relations especially taking it to a reasonable level. For that matter we should work on identifying new products for mutual trade,” he maintained.

LCCI President said, Pakistan’s major exports to Philippines consist of rice, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, citrus fruit, and containers of glass etc. He said that Pakistan’s major imports from Philippines were automotive parts, ferrous scrap of iron, cigarette papers, fruit and nuts etc.

Mian Tariq Misbah said, with the help of people-to-people contact and interaction between the private sectors of the two countries, we can bridge the communication gap. He said that there is a tremendous room for trade and economic cooperation between two countries especially in the areas of value added textiles, leather products, processed food and tourism etc.

He said that it is heartening to know that Philippines has made great progress as far as Halal Certification was concerned. He invited the investors from Philippines to establish close liaison with the business community of Pakistan which was the natural base for Halal products.

The LCCI President said that the idea of forming economic team and mobilizing them for developing networking seemed great. He also called for joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries.