ISLAMABAD: Minister of State and Board of Investment Chairman Naeem Y Zamindar, who is visiting Japan, addressed a special meeting of the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) on emerging business and investment opportunities in Pakistan. Keidanren is the premier institution representing business and industry in Japan.
Keidanren Committee on South Asia Chair Kiyoshi Miyake, in his welcoming remarks, thanked Zamindar for visiting the Keidanren and giving a special briefing on Pakistan’s economy and investment framework.
Speaking to the members of the committee on South Asia, Zamindar said that Pakistan’s location on the cusp of important economic regions, young population and skilled labour force supported by very rapidly growing technology infrastructure made Pakistan a very attractive destination for investment not only for domestic market but also as a production and export hub for rest of the world.
He said that with improved security and a sustained economic turnaround Pakistan is open for business. Japan with it’s historical business and economic linkages and the high regard that it enjoys in Pakistan is best placed to avail the emerging potential and opportunities. Pakistan, he said, would welcome Japan’s investment and BOI would offer every facilitation.
The BOI chairman further noted that government is committed to making Pakistan a business-friendly country. Foreign investment in Pakistan is protected by rigorous laws and FDI regulations allow full repatriation of capital and profits in almost all cases. Pakistan is rich in agricultural and mineral raw material. This is now supported by fast access to technology.
The number of mobile phone holders increased 100 times between 2003 to 2008 and number of bank account holders is expected to increase eight times to 80 per cent of the eligible population in three years. The business environment has also been helped by vast improvement in the security situation in last three years.
He identified energy, solar panels, electronics, auto, textile, chemicals and plastics as potential areas for Japanese investors and said that through facilitation and incentive measures including one window operation and special economic zones, Japanese companies will find Pakistan a hospitable investment destination.
Pakistan Ambassador Asad M Khan also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the renewed interest of both countries to further deepen bilateral engagement duly captured by the convening of a number of dialogue processes and the visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Konoto to Islamabad last month.
He reiterated that Pakistan firmly believes that common adherence to the ideals of peace, democracy, freedom and rule of law and shared commitment to promoting peace and security and expanding and deepening bilateral trade, investment and development cooperation provides a strong basis for a comprehensive, sustainable and mutually beneficial partnership between Pakistan and Japan.
Miyake concluded the session with the hope for stronger economic relations between the two countries.
Earlier, Suzuki Corporation Head Kinji Saito, Sojitz Corporation Chief Operating Officer HirotoMurai and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan Managing Director Itabashi also called upon Zamindar and discussed their future investment plans in Pakistan.