Islamabad, November 20, 2012 (PPI-OT): Mr. Hiroshi Oe, Ambassador of Japan, today called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e- Sadr.
Senator Saleem H. Mandviwalla, Minister of State for Finance, and Secretary General to the President Mr. M. Salman Faruqui were also present during the meeting.
Pak-Japan bilateral relations and ways and means to further strengthen the economic interaction between the two countries were discussed during the meeting.
The President during meeting said that Pakistan greatly values its relations with Japan and considers Japan as a strong and reliable development partner of the country. Appreciating development assistance provided to the country by Japan the President noted that during past six decades, Japan has always supported socio-economic development of Pakistan. In this regard, the President mentioned Japanese assistance during the 2005 earthquake, the flood relief efforts and the assistance it provided in eradicating the menace of polio from the country. He also lauded Japan’s role as founding member of Friends of Democratic Pakistan forum.
The President said that it was encouraging to learn about various events being held in both the countries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations which, he said, would further strengthen our ties and help promoting people-to-people contacts.
He said that Pakistan acknowledges Japan’s role in promoting stability and development in the region and we greatly appreciate the constructive the role being played by our Japanese friends.
Discussing bilateral relations, the President noted the huge potential that existed between the two countries to further strengthen economic ties and said that our trade and economic cooperation was far below the existing potential.
Inviting Japanese corporations to seriously consider Pakistan for undertaking long term business ventures, the President recounted various incentives being offered by the Government to the businessmen, investors and entrepreneurs.
On this occasion the President appreciated the efforts made by the Japanese Ambassador in holding investment seminars to promote trade and economic activities. The President said that continuation of such efforts and initiatives to attract Japanese manufacturers and consumers towards Pakistani products would be greatly appreciated.
He said that with our surplus produce of fruits, vegetables and rice, we would welcome Japanese assistance in establishing a Centre of Excellence in agro-processing industry as well as packaging with Japanese standards in Pakistan.
The President said Pakistan looks forward to Japan’s long-term engagement in the development of Pakistan’s agro-industry in terms of land development, high quality seeds, crop farming, cultivation, dairy and fisheries sectors development.
He said that Pakistan was keen to increase its exports of agriculture produce, textiles, surgical instruments and leather products to Japan through enhanced market opportunities. In this context, the President said we look forward to Japan for a greater market access as provided by the European Union for Pakistani products.
Inviting Japan to build grid stations in Islamabad and Faisalabad, the President said that we would welcome Japanese assistance in construction of Peshawar-Torkham road and coal gasification technology for Thar Project.
The President also said that Pakistan and Japan may also enter into bilateral free trade agreement as it would significantly help increasing mutual trade and boosting economic interactions.
The Japanese ambassador Mr. Hiroshi Oe thanked the President for meeting and assured his continued efforts towards further strengthening Pakistan-Japan relations especially boosting trade and economic activities between the two countries.
The President also hosted lunch for the ambassador.
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