ICCI: (Japanese companies taking great interest in Pakistan to invest in various sectors: Envoy)

ISLAMABAD: The Japanese companies were taking great interest in Pakistan to invest in various sectors including energy and consumers goods and Pakistan need to further improve business environment by addressing issues like power shortage, infrastructure and security situation to attract more Japanese investment, observed Mr Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan while addressing business community here at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Thursday.

He said considering the size of both economies, Pakistan and Japan have good potential to further expand bilateral trade and Japan was trying to have broader economic relations with Pakistan. He said promotion of trade was the best option to further deepen mutual understanding between the two countries.

He said many Japanese companies were already in joint ventures in Pakistan in auto and other sectors while there was great scope to establish more joint ventures between the business communities of the two countries in various areas. He said Japan was extending cooperation to Pakistan in health, education and other sectors and will continue to support Pakistan in its economic development.

In his welcome address, ICCI President Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, said that bilateral trade of around US$2 billion between Pakistan and Japan was not up to the real potential with trade balance in favour of Japan. He said Pakistan and Japan should focus on finalizing a free trade agreement and encourage frequent exchange of trade delegations that would greatly help in increasing the bilateral trade.

He said Pakistan had allowed Japan to set up a Special Economic Zone and Textile City in Karachi under concessionary package and urged that Japanese companies should enhance investment in these projects.

Appreciating the Japan’s interest in the Karachi Circular Railway and underground metro projects in Lahore and Karachi, he stressed that Pakistan should extend all possible assistance to Japanese investors so that they could contribute in upgrading transportation system of Pakistan according to modern needs.

He assured that ICCI would like to work with Embassy of Japan to create more business linkages between the private sectors of both countries to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation.

He said Japan was dominating the auto sector in Pakistan, but it should enhance its presence in other sectors of the economy as well that offer lucrative investment opportunities.

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