Islamabad, July 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): A comprehensive Pakistan-Japan Business Meeting, chaired by Senior Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim held here today to discuss specific matters of trade and investment between Japan and Pakistan.
The Japanese delegation comprising officials from Japanese Association of Commerce and Industry in Pakistan, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and country heads of different Japanese companies working in Pakistan, headed by Ambassador of Japan in Pakistan shared their respective point of views on different matter in the meeting.
While addressing the participants of the meeting, the Senior Commerce Minister pointed that the existing trade volume between Japan and Pakistan is US$ 2 billion, which is far below the trade potential between the two countries.
It is high time to utilize the existing trade potential. Currently there is no such arrangement like Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Japan and Pakistan and we hope that this Pakistan-Japan Business Meeting would be a major step toward the implementation of such arrangements.
The Japanese delegation offered that Japanese official Development Assistance may be utilized for improving infrastructure especially in Railway Sector. They expressed interest in exporting items from Pakistan to India but requested the Government of Pakistan’s assistance in reducing non tariff barriers on Indian side. The Japanese delegation also mentioned that Japanese market may be explored for value added textile items.
The Japanese ambassador mentioned that they are arranging various investment seminars to attract foreign direct investment to Pakistan but energy crisis and law and order situation are two major obstacles in this way. He agreed that public perception about deteriorating law and order situation of Pakistan is worse than the actual condition for which government of Pakistan should work seriously.
The meeting also discussed the need to utilize the potential of exports of value added textile products to Japan and import of textile machinery from Japan.
While arguing the existing disadvantageous position of Pakistani textile exports to Japan due to non availability of any bilateral trade arrangements, Pakistani side proposed that a concessionary package may be given by Japan for Pakistani exports.
The meeting also discussed the potential of proposed Japan Special Economic Zone and Textile City in Pakistan. It would be a major step to enhance Japanese investment in Pakistan and to effectively address issues hindering investment like law and order situation and power shortage, mentioned in the meeting.
The meeting was concluded with the remarks that frequent meeting should be arranged to materialize the said proposals without wasting any time.
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