The economic relations between Japan and Pakistan have grown over the last couple of years and will further strengthen in future.
“Many Japanese companies were interested in investing in different sectors in Pakistan. However, there was a need for steps to increase bilateral trade and investment to tap the big potential existing on both the sides,” said Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Takashi KURAI said.
He was speaking at the 9th annual general meeting of Pakistan Japan Business Forum (PJBF) at the residence of PJBF’s Vice President Kaleem Farooqui. Consul General of Japan in Karachi Toshikazu Isomura, Country Director of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Osamu HISAKI, Marubeni Corporation’s General Manager for Pakistan K.Ushimaru, PJBF’s President Sohail P Ahmed and its Vice President Kalim Farooqui were also present.
Japanese ambassador said that for increased involvement of Japanese companies in the Pakistani market, mainly four things were required: better security situation, infrastructure development, stable, reliable and predictable legal system, and administrative measures. Also, he endorsed, there was a visible improvement in these accounts.
“I came to Pakistan in last April. Since then, the law and order situation has significantly improved. Still. much more needs to be done,” he remarked. He informed that eighty Japanese companies were operating in Pakistan, out of which eighteen are in Karachi. In Pakistan, Japanese companies were mainly engaged in the auto sector. In the fiscal year 2015-16, Japanese companies invested dollars 74 million in Pakistan. “I hope, more Japanese companies will come to Pakistan,” he said.
He said Japan was providing support to Pakistan in power sector as well. Now, the shift of Japanese companies was to the fast moving consumers goods, for which Pakistan was a potential market. He told that an international brand, Morinaga Dairy, was setting up a plant in Sheikhpura town of Punjab with an initial investment of 8 million dollars and would start its production in April 2018.
Panasonic had opened its showroom in Karachi in last October. Ajinomoto had entered a joint venture with Lakson Group in last July. All Japanese automobile companies; Suzuki, Honda, and Toyota had introduced new car models to the Pakistani market.
the fiscal year 2015, the bilateral trade was around two billion dollars and it would continue to grow, he was optimistic. Japanese ambassador said that on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the friendly relations between the two countries, Japanese Embassy and its consulates had planned many commemorative events on a larger scale throughout Pakistan than the normal routine activities. He said these cultural events would highlight the long and strong friendship of Japan and Pakistan, and the leadership of both the countries would realise to have more political contacts, which definitely would boost trade and investment. On his behalf and of the embassy’s staff, Japanese ambassador assured of full cooperation and support for promotion of bilateral trade and investment.
The ambassador praised the role of PJBF in promoting two-way trade and investment. He recalled that PJBF delegation; led by its President Sohail P Ahmed visited Japan last year and held meetings with Japanese companies, which motivated them to take an interest in Pakistani products. Furthermore, an agreement was signed between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the two countries.