LAHORE - The Ambassador of Philippines Jesus I Yabes has said that Philippines, with dynamic consumer market, has unlimited scope for Pakistani businessmen dealing in pharmaceuticals, rice, textile yarns, Leather and fresh fruits particularly oranges. He was speaking at the LCCI here. LCCI SVP Ijaz A Mumtaz, Executive Committee Members Sohail Shamsher Ali, Syed M Umair and Dr Shahid Raza also spoke on the occasion. The Ambassador said that the Philippines would continue to be the heavy importer of these products. It could be a major buyer of rice from Pakistan in near future as it does not have enormous natural irrigation system, he added. He urged the LCCI to play its role for reinstatement of direct air link between Pakistan and Philippines. He said opportunity areas for business with the Philippines based on upward trends in exports including electronics, construction material, marine products, organic and natural products, home furniture, giftware, auto parts and components, IT and IT-enabled services. He said that there was a need to activate framework of agreements on trade and economic ties. He said the great potential for expansion in trade and economic relations could be successfully tapped through increased contacts between the business sectors. The Philippines embassy is committed to facilitate these contacts, he added. He said that Philippines is an open economy and allows 100 percent foreign ownership in all sectors. Govt corporations are being privatized and banking, insurance, shipping, telecommunications and power industries have been deregulated. The Ambassador said there was dire need for the business communities of the two sides to join hands for joint ventures as Philippines trade with Pakistan constitutes less than 10 per cent of Philippines trade with the world. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI SVP Ijaz A Mumtaz assured the Ambassador of his full cooperation for increasing the volume of two-way trade. He said that despite an increase of 169 percent in the trade between the two countries over the last four years, both the countries have a lot of potential to expand their trade. He said that Pakistans major exports to Philippines include cotton, cereals and pharmaceutical products, but these form a very little segment of Philippines total import of these commodities from rest of the world. He said Pakistan is one of the largest producers of cotton and rice in the world. The aroma and quality of Pakistani rice is just superb. Pakistan has also a highly developed pharmaceutical industry. Philippino businessmen may consider the quality and price of these Pakistani products to economize on their cost of procurement. He said that frequent exchange of business delegations and holding of single country exhibition would yield desired results. He said that exchange of business-related information could also help the respective societies to familiarize with each other.