KARACHI: The bilateral trade and Japanese investment in Pakistan will see quantum jump provided there is consistency in the latter’s economic policies, along with sustained better law and order situation.
The bilateral trade figured only two billion dollars against the big potential on both the sides. This could be boosted by diversification, and clear and long-term trade policies.
This should be supplemented with highly liberal visa policy for two business communities to ensure their maximum interaction for exploring trade and investment avenues, said Japanese Council General in Karachi, Toshikazu Isomura while speaking at the annual signature event-2017 of Pakistan-Japan Business Forum (PJBF) here on Tuesday late evening and then talking to a group of journalists there.
He regretted that Pakistan had cut the period of business visa to three months from one year, which had started showing negative impact on the bilateral trade. Also, he pointed out, levy of the regulatory duty by Pakistan suddenly, without consulting the stakeholders, would also prove non-productive for the bilateral trade.
“More incentives and openings are needed to promote trade and investment,” he mentioned.
To a question, he said the trade balance was in favour of Japan—of total $ 2 billion bilateral trade of last year, Pakistan exports amounted only $ 240 million. Pakistan’s major export item was textile followed by mangoes, seafood and rice, whereas the major import was machinery and equipment. Seventy percent of textile machinery in Pakistan was imported from Japan.
He said there was a big demand in Japan for many Pakistani products and that Pakistan was also a large market of 220 million population. About Japan’s investment in Pakistan, the Consul General said that after significant improvement in law and order especially in Karachi over last couple of years and profitable business by eighty three Japanese companies in Pakistan, more Japanese companies were interested to invest in different sectors in Pakistan mainly automotive and energy ones. Nissan Automotive Company was also scheduled to resume its production activities here and possibly further expansion to its plants.
Japanese envoy appreciated the efforts of Pakistan-Japan Business Forum for promoting the bilateral trade since its formation sixteen years back.
Chairman PJBF, Sohail P. Ahmed said that besides providing incentives by the government, Pakistan exporters should adopt innovative methods to increase their exports to Japan. And, he added, similar initiatives he expected from Japanese side.
He pointed out that of very big quantity of Japan’s textile imports, akistan’s share was only 0.13 percent, which could be significantly increased.
He urged for provision of one-window facility for local and foreign investors especially at Special Economic Zones in Pakistan. On seeking his opinion, he showed his reservations over de-valuation
of Pakistan Rupee. Ms. Rie Mihara, the Chief Executive Officer and the Founder of Japanese Makotoya Company, who was working in Pakistan for last four years, shared her success story and pledged to continue playing her role as bridge between the two countries, along with expansion in her company’s operations.
“I feel proud of being a member of Pakistani society and wish to become a bridge somehow in two countries,” she remarked.
Japanese popular music was played and folk song was sung by a famous Japanese lady singer. Besides, Japanese marshal art was performed by a group of Pakistani boys and girls athletes, led by Director Sports, Pakistan Ju-Jitsu Federation, Tariq Ali.