FAISALABAD. Philippine is ready to import 14 million dollar cement from Pakistan to undertake its gigantic infrastructure development project of 260 billion dollar, said Filipino envoy Mr. Daniel Ramos Espiritu. Addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), he said that bilateral trade do not match with the actual potential of the Philippine and Pakistan and we must make collaborated and serious efforts to enhance it up to the satisfactory level. He mentioned ups and down in bilateral trade during last decade and said that his objective to visit Faisalabad is to enhance volume of trade and investment between the two countries. He said that currently Philippine is exporting electronics, garments and auto parts to Pakistan. “Pakistan use auto parts for the assembling of cars which are re-exported to earn foreign exchange” he said and added that Philippine is also importing rice from Pakistan as per capita consumption of rice in Philippine is more than China. He told that Philippine has launched reconstruction of infrastructure project and it needs cement is large quantity. “We are planning to import it from Pakistan after its import from China and America”, he said and added that initially 14 million dollar cement will be imported from Pakistan while its quantity will be increased gradually. He appreciated the proposal of President Engineer Hafiz Ihtasham Javed to enhance export of textiles, pharmaceuticals and rice and in this connection a conducive climate with maximum incentives will be offered to the new investors. He said that pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan is saturated and now it should established its new pharma units in Philippine from where they will have free access to 600 million population of ASEAN (ASSOCATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS) block. About textile, he said that Pakistan has raw material and skill to produce high quality textile products. “On the other hand Philippine has expertise in fashion designing coupled with market access”, he said and added that both countries should club their expertise to give a quantum jump to their bilateral trade. He also endorsed the proposal of Engineer Hafiz Ihtasham Javed to send a delegation of FCCI to Philippine and assured full support in materializing this proposal. “The Pakistani exporters could have B2B meetings with their Filipino counterparts”, he said and added it will provide them an opportunity to critically explore the potential of Filipino markets. Continuing Mr. Daniel Ramos Espiritu said that Philippine is third largest human resource exporting country after China and India and many countries are demanding our human resource to develop their fishery and agriculture sectors.
Earlier consular of Philippine Mr. Fazil Sheikh said that Pakistan can get access to a huge market which will be more beneficial than America and EU.
A documentary on the economic potential of Philippine was also screened. It explained that Pakistani investment in Philippine is around 67 million dollar while Philippine has so far invested 217 million dollar in Pakistan.
President FCCI Engineer Hafiz Ihtasham Javed in his address of welcome, briefly introduced Faisalabad and FCCI and told that this city is iconic representation of textile sector which is contributing 65% share in total textile export of Pakistan. He said that Philippine should invest in CPEC related project which will also provide them an opportunity to export the surplus produce to the land locked central Asian estates. He said that Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone is most suitable for foreign investors as Government of Pakistan has offered a number of incentives in addition to a tax holiday.
Earlier question answer session was held which was participated by Engineer Ahmad Hassan and Mr. Muzammil Sultan.
Later Senior Vice President Chaudhary Talat Mahmood offered vote of thanks while Engineer Hafiz Ihtasham Javed presented FCCI memento to Mr. Daniel Ramos Espiritu ambassador of Philippine.