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PR-/18
 Rabi ul Awwal 3, 1439 A.H.
November 22, 2017

EASING VISA ISSUANCE
Filipino Ambassador agrees to waive off police verification for KCCI members

KARACHI: In response to Karachi Chamber’s request, Ambassador of Philippines in Pakistan Daniel Ramos Espiritu has agreed to waive off the condition to submit Police Verification Certificate for KCCI members who will now be issued Filipino Visa upon submission of KCCI’s Visa Recommendation Letter which would surely help in paving way for enhanced trade between the two countries. Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Filipino Ambassador stressed that Pakistan and Philippines need to work together in order to develop their economies and provide better income to their people. “Huge area of opportunities exist where we can collaborate to enhance trade and businesses between the two countries”, he added. Honorary Consul General of Philippines in Karachi Dr. Imran Yousuf Muhammad, Vice Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Anjum Nisar, Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President KCCI Rehan Hanif and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting.

Daniel R. Espiritu also highlighted Pakistan’s and Philippines’ close and cordial ties since the establishment of the bilateral relations between the two countries in 1949, which were evident in the high-level exchanges and agreements signed by both countries.Filipino Ambassador said that prior to his arrival, he had the same impression about Pakistan as a country where explosions and bombings must be taking place all the time but his views practically changed within days after his arrival. “Pakistan is a land of peaceful and friendly people who are the friendliest people of the world”, he said, assuring that the realities about Pakistan will be shared with the Filipino business community so that maximum number of businessmen and industrialists from his country could visit Pakistan to explore opportunities.Expressing concerns over meager trade volume between Pakistan and Philippines, he said that this was mainly due to the fact that people of both countries were not much aware of the immense opportunities available in Philippines for Pakistanis and for Filipinos in Pakistan. “Hence, we have to enlighten people about the trade and investment opportunities in both countries”, he stressed. Referring to KCCI’s My Karachi Exhibition, the Filipino Ambassador assured to disseminate info about this exhibition amongst Filipino business community and look into the possibility of setting up a special Pavilion of Philippines at the Exhibition in April 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Anjum Nisar appreciated Filipino Ambassador for taking KCCI’s suggestion into consideration by waiving off Police Verification for KCCI members which would result in quantum leap in terms of trade relations. “Keeping in view the huge membership base of Karachi Chamber, if Filipino Embassy seriously focuses on KCCI’s members only, it will surely result in boosting the existing trade volume and all targets set in this regard will be achieved easily”, he added. He noted that despite trade deficit greater than Pakistan, Philippines continues to grow by focusing on building the infrastructure and by initiating steps to ease doing business in Philippines which must be done by Pakistan as well.

Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, in his welcome address, pointed out that Karachi, being the economic and financial hub of Pakistan, offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for investment and joint ventures to the Filipino Business and Industrial community. “With improved law and order situation, this city, which contributes more than 65 percent revenue to the national exchequer, is an attractive place for foreign investors, who can surely earn maximum profits by setting up their businesses or they can also go for joint ventures”, he added. Commenting on Pakistan-Philippines relations, he said that both countries share cordial bilateral relations and efforts are being made to further strengthen these relations.  “During Fiscal Year 2017, Pakistan exported goods worth $134.87 million to Philippines while our imports stood at $16.63 million”, Abdul Basit said, adding that there was a significant potential to enhance trade and investment between the two countries in various fields like agriculture products, furniture, IT services and electronic items etc.

He was of the view that the business communities of the two sides should undertake joint ventures while the Chambers of Commerce of both nations must regularly interact with each other for trade promotion.SVP KCCI invited the Filipino business community to invest in any of the 9 Special Economic Zones being established under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. “Two of these SEZs will be established in each province and one will be set up in Gilgit-Baltistan as well where Filipino businessmen and industrialists can surely benefit from numerous incentives, particularly the tax holiday being offered for a period of upto 10 years”, he added.