The 7th Japan-Pakistan High-level Economic Policy Dialogue was held today in a virtual format.
The Pakistani delegation was led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Noor Ahmed, and the Japanese delegation was headed by the Japanese Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hiroshi Suzuki.
The Ambassador of Pakistan to Japan, Imtiaz Ahmad, and the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Kuninori Matsuda partook in the dialogue that was also attended by senior officers from the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Industries & Production, Overseas Pakistanis & HRD, and Informational Technology & Telecommunication, National Food Security & Research, and the Board of Investment.
Both sides reviewed the current status of bilateral economic relations and reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing mutually beneficial economic cooperation in diverse fields. Japan acknowledged Pakistan’s geo-economic location with its potential for connectivity and a hub for transit trade in the region as an attractive destination for Japanese investors.
In order to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, specific discussions were held in economic areas to bridge the balance of trade deficit by increasing exports from Pakistan, the restoration of concessional yen-based loans and the enhancement of annual grants, measures to promote foreign direct investment, the transfer of technology, value-addition, textile and leather, home electronics, agro-products and food processing, the auto sector and electric vehicles, and joint ventures for Pakistan’s export-oriented industries.
In the field of investment cooperation, Pakistan proposed that Japan take advantage of the opportunities in its investor-friendly Special Economic Zones and offered a country-specific economic zone for Japanese investors.
With regard to human resource cooperation, both sides recognized the existence of immense potential in the export of skilled and semi-skilled manpower to Japan.
Japan is also keen to utilize Pakistan’s highly qualified ICT experts in win-win cooperation for both countries.
The Secretary of Economic Affairs remarked that the economic cooperation between the two sides had commenced in 1952 and has been growing and expanding ever since, and that both countries have enjoyed a high level of mutual respect, friendship, peace, and stability.
He also stated that the Government of Pakistan acknowledges and highly appreciates Japan’s cooperation in the areas of socio-economic infrastructure, security and stability, urban services like access to clean water, water distribution networks and the up-gradation of sewerage systems, education and health, and also its assistance in combating the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suzuki reiterated the long-term commitment and friendship between the two countries, and also acknowledged and appreciated the support of the Pakistani community during the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan in 2011.
He also advised Pakistan to upgrade its internal systems, quality of governance, and business environment.
The Japanese side appreciated the reform agendas of the Government of Pakistan and assured its full support in better fiscal management, socio-economic development, and making Pakistan self-sufficient.
Suzuki affirmed that Japan would work in close cooperation with Pakistan to further enhance the potential of their economic cooperation to new levels.
Both sides resolved to work together to give concrete shape to the various proposals discussed during the dialogue.