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A 3 member delegation headed by Mr. Jose S. Brillintes, Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs is scheduled to undertake a visit to Pakistan from 27-29 January, 2011 to hold the 3rd meeting of ‘Policy Consultation Talks’ between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and the Philippines. Members of the delegation include Ms. Cristina G. Ortega, Assistant Secretary of Asian and Pacific Affairs and Mr. Victorio Mario M. Dimagiba, Jr. Director Asian and Pacific Affairs, in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The purpose of Policy Consultation Talks is to exchange views on matters of mutual concern, including political, economic, cultural and educational cooperation, international and regional issues. The last Session of the Policy Consultation Talks was held in April, 2004.

Relations with the Philippines form an important component of our ‘Vision East Asia’ policy. The Philippines, is a founding member of ASEAN, has been a steadfast supporter of our efforts to strengthen our institutional linkages with ASEAN, including our membership to ARF, ASEM and Full Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN. The Policy Consultation Talks is an important mechanism to carry forward the track of bilateral relations and to build and broaden our partnership with the Philippines, which is an important member of ASEAN region.

Pakistan and the Philippines celebrated 60 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2009. It is very heartening to note positive developments in trade and economic fields. The bilateral trade between the two countries has doubled in last year to over US$182 million during July 2009 to June 2010. Pakistan’s exports to the Philippines were recorded at US$157 million and the Philippines has become 2nd largest importer of Pakistani products in the ASEAN countries.

Both countries have been supporting each other in efforts to promote Inter-Faith Dialogue. A conference on Inter-Faith Dialogue was co-sponsored by the Philippines, Pakistan and Indonesia on the fringes of the UN Summit in September 2005. Pakistan was the original co-sponsor with the Philippines of the General Assembly Resolution on “Promotion of Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace”. The Policy Consultation Talks will contribute in taking forward the multi-pronged cooperation between both countries, to a higher level of engagement.

26 January 2011

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