ISLAMABAD: Japan and Pakistan have a huge potential to expand their bilateral trade and economic ties, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda said on Monday.
Talking to APP, the envoy said that both sides have the potential to double their bilateral trade volume given that the resources were properly utilised.
He maintained that Japan and Pakistan have enjoyed historical, diplomatic and economic relations, adding that Japan has always supported Pakistan in all diplomatic spheres.
Replying to a question, the ambassador said Pakistan and Japan were looking to increase bilateral cooperation in the agricultural-based industry, as Japan has already announced a grant aid to enhance Pakistan’s productivity in relevant agricultural fields.
“Recently, Japan announced a grand aid of $5.2 million to support agri-food and agro-industry development in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces,” he informed. “This amount will be utilised for the enhancement of productivity and capacities of relevant sectors in KP’s cattle meat value chain.”
He said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was already working on the potential agro-based regions of Hazara, Swat, Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan to promote innovation and value addition culture in these areas. “Through JICA, the Japanese government is also working on cold storage for the preservation of apple, apricot and other perishable fruits.”
He said that Japan was also striving to strengthen its footprint in Pakistan’s auto sector by enhancing the capacity of local labourers and providing employment opportunities in the country.
“Japanese companies are interested in the establishment of auto industrial units in Pakistan so as to bring investments to the country and provide opportunities to the local people,” he stated.
The ambassador informed that Pakistan and Japan would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) this month for the export of thousands of hi-tech skilled labourers from Pakistan to Japan.
“Japan intends to attract around 350,000 blue-collar workers from 10 different countries, including Pakistan, over the next five years. The number will enhance be enhanced by 2030.”
Matsuda praised the Pakistani workers working in Japan, saying that they were highly skilled and working with full commitment and honesty.
“Professional skills and proficiency in the Japanese language will be a prerequisite for workers who wish to work in Japan under the said MoU,” he concluded.