????MANILA � As the Philippines pursues enhanced economic partnerships with non-traditional partners, Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said it is high time for the country to develop commercial relationships with untapped markets, such as Kazakhstan.??
The Philippines drastically improved diplomatic and economic relations with Russia and it is only natural that the same is undertaken with former Soviet countries like Kazakhstan, Sorreta said in a statement.
??Kazakhstan and Russia are both members of the Eurasian Economic Union and, because of their free-trade zone, our exports can reach one country via the other, he added.??
During a visit on Feb. 22, Sorreta discussed with Aryan Erenovand, chairman of the Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan, specific areas of cooperation between what he tagged as the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia and the largest economy in Central Asia.??
The envoy said for the Philippines to sustain its high economic growth, it needs to develop commercial relations with markets like Kazakhstan.??
He invited the Kazakh business community to invest in the Philippines, including in the government's Build, Build, Build program of high-impact infrastructure projects.??
For his part, Erenov agreed that there is a need to build closer ties between the two countries' business sectors, adding that Kazakh businessmen are very much interested in the Philippines.?
Erenov vowed to encourage investors to explore investment opportunities in the country, particularly in energy and transportation.??
Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world with a population of less than 20 million.
The Philippines' trade with the oil-rich Central Asian state meanwhile exceeded USD5 million in 2017, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). ??
Sorreta, who is also the Non-resident Ambassador to Kazakhstan, met with Deputy Minister Akylbek Kamaldinov at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the same day to plan the course of Philippines-Kazakhstan bilateral relations.
??The DFA said concrete proposals on energy, trade and investment, and even in civil aviation were reviewed along with other agreements in the pipeline.
??The welfare of an estimated 500 Filipino teachers, engineers and household service workers in Kazakhstan was also discussed. ?
Kamaldinov affirmed that Kazakhstan is prepared to have enhanced diplomatic, economic and people-to-people relations with the Philippines.
Source: Philippine News Agency