Islamabad : Dr Jay L Batongbacal, Director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, Philippines, has advocated cooperation between Pakistan and his country in maritime affairs for mutual economic development and security.
Dr Batongbacal was addressing a seminar on "Pakistan-Philippines bilateral relations in the changing world” organised here by Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in collaboration with Embassy of the Philippines.
Dr Batongbacal shared information about the security issues in ASEAN region and Philippines’ perspective. Maria Agnes M Cervantes, Ambassador of the Philippines, recalled that Pakistan and her country had signed 25 cooperation agreements strengthening bilateral cooperation on various track of the relations. She highlighted the potential for increased economic cooperation, especially in Information Technology, and emphasised the importance of people-to-people exchanges and cultural understanding.
Sohail Mahmood, Director-General, ISS, has stressed the importance of upscaling bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation, sustaining a steady momentum of high-level visits and fostering closer people-to-people exchanges. He also underscored the importance of Pakistan-Philippines relations in the context of Pakistan’s elevated partnership with ASEAN.
Mohsin Razi, former Ambassador of Pakistan to the Philippines, shared his views on the excellent relations between Pakistan and the Philippines based on common values, dating back to the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1949. He highlighted mutual support on the international forums, including the Philippines' support for Pakistan's ASEAN engagement and joint initiative to promote inter-faith dialogue. Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between the two countries substantially increased, he noted. Chrysl Sicat from the Philippines Embassy discussed economic agreements between the two countries highlighting diverse areas for increased economic cooperation. She called for a more open policy framework on trade and investment and encouraged streamlined people-to-people exchanges.
Dr Amna Mahmood from IIU focused on the untapped potential of maritime cooperation between Pakistan and the Philippines, referring to the significance of maritime security and trade for economic growth. Dr Sameera Imran from NDU delved into the potential of bilateral relations in the changing global landscape, advocating for cooperation in research and development between the two countries.