ISLAMABAD : Great potential exists for expansion in trade and economic relations between Pakistan and the Philippine and the two countries could be successfully tapped through increased contacts between the business sectors. These remarks were made by Domingo Lucenario, Ambassador of Philippine in Pakistan during a meeting with business community of ICCI. He said that the business communities of the two sides should join hands for joint ventures as well as chambers of commerce of both nations must interact with each other.

He said that there was a need to activate framework of agreements on trade and economic ties.

The Ambassador said that Philippines emerged as one of the best performers in services exports as well as in semi-conductor area which provide opportunities for Pakistan to enhance trade with Philippine. He further said that both the countries should focus on discovering complementary industries as real working partnership between Pakistan and Philippine would go a long way in further enhancing trade relations.

In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said that Pakistan attached great importance to enhance its relationship with Philippines as an important country of ASEAN regional bloc and stressed to further accelerate economic and trade relations among all the ASEAN countries. He also emphasised that Philippine should also help Pakistan in becoming full-dialogue partner in ASEAN.

He suggested to establish a direct air link between Pakistan and Philippine which would help businessmen in visiting each other s country and exploring new areas of commercial linkages as well as it enhance mutual relationship between Pakistan and  Philippine. He said that volume of trade between Pakistan and Philippine is not up to the potential but there is enough potential in various fields between the two countries to increase trade.

Bakhtawari said that both the countries must ensure a liberal visa policy to enable the businessmen get visa easily and meet each other, which is imperative to boost trade between the two countries as there is enough potential in various fields between the two countries to increase trade.

The ICCI president informed the ambassador that ICCI plans to host a meeting of ASEAN Capital Chambers Conference in Islamabad with the aim to promote mutually beneficial relation between Pakistan and ASEAN countries.