Islamabad, 29 November 2023 (TDI): The China Pakistan Study Center, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), in collaboration with the Embassy of the Philippines, organized a seminar today, focusing on relations between Pakistan and the Philippines in the changing global landscape.
The Seminar, titled “Pakistan-Philippines Bilateral Relations in the Changing World,” aimed to explore opportunities for enhanced collaboration across a broad spectrum.
Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, Director-General of ISSI, while giving his welcoming remarks, acknowledged the enduring strength of Pakistan-Philippines relations marked by friendship, trust, and mutual understanding.
He 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.
Ambassador Maria Agnes M. Cervantes, Ambassador of the Philippines in Islamabad, reminded that Pakistan and the Philippines had signed 25 cooperation agreements — strengthening bilateral cooperation on various tracks of the relations.
She highlighted the potential for increased economic cooperation, especially in Information Technology, and emphasized the importance of people-to-people exchanges and cultural understanding.
Ambassador 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 has substantially increased, he noted.
Chrysler Sicat from the Philippines Embassy discussed economic agreements between the two countries, highlighting diverse areas for increased economic cooperation. Ms. Sicat called for a more open policy framework on trade and investment and encouraged streamlined people-to-people exchanges.
Dr. Jay L. Batongbacal, Director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, Philippines, shared information about the security issues in ASEAN region and the Philippines’ perspective. He advocated for cooperation in maritime affairs for mutual economic development and security.
Dr. Amna Mahmood from IIU focused on the untapped potential of maritime cooperation between Pakistan and the Philippines, emphasizing 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.
Chairman Board of Governors, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, emphasized the long-standing friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and the Philippines. He acknowledged multilateral collaboration and the significance of high-level exchanges. He also emphasized increased trade and people-to-people contacts.
Earlier, Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director of the China-Pakistan Study Center (CPSC), while giving his introductory remarks, delved into various aspects of the bilateral relationship. Dr. Shabbir emphasized the historical roots of the diplomatic ties that date back to the 1950s and highlighted the shared commitment to peace, stability, and prosperity.
He emphasized that the leadership of both countries laid the foundation for robust diplomatic ties, ranging from combating terrorism to cultural exchanges. He also suggested for economic collaboration including investment, technology transfer, and cooperation in key sectors.