(TOKYO: March 19, 2021): The 7th Pakistan-Japan High Level Economic Policy Dialogue was held today in virtual format. The Pakistan delegation was led by Mr. Noor Ahmed, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, whereas the Japan delegation was led by Mr. Hiroshi Suzuki, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. Ambassador of Pakistan to Japan Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad and Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Mr. Kuninori Matsuda also attended the Dialogue.
Both sides gave an overview of the current status of bilateral economic relations and reaffirmed their commitment to enhance mutually beneficial economic cooperation in diverse fields. Japan acknowledged Pakistan’s geo-economic location with its connectivity potential as an export destination for Japanese goods and services not only catering to the Pakistan market but also to the wider region.
In order to bridge the balance of trade between the two countries, various measures to enhance Pakistan’s export competitiveness such as transfer of technology, technical know-how, capacity building, and even joint ventures for Pakistan’s export-oriented industries were discussed. The two sides also agreed to deliberate further on the possibility of concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)/Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Agriculture products, fisheries, textiles, food processing, and ICT cooperation were some of the main areas identified as having the greatest potential for bilateral trade cooperation.
In the field of investment cooperation, Pakistan proposed Japan to take advantage of opportunities in its investor friendly Special Economic Zones and even offered a country specific economic zone for Japanese investment. Japan expressed certain investment and tax related concerns faced by its companies operating in Pakistan, which Pakistan side agreed to address.
With regard to human resource cooperation, both sides recognized the existence of immense potential in export of skilled and semi-skilled manpower to Japan and discussed ways and means to achieve maximum dividends from the MoCs signed between the two countries on Technical Intern Training and Specified Skilled Workers Programmes. Japan was keen to utilize Pakistan’s highly qualified ICT experts in win-win cooperation for both countries.
The two sides resolved to work together in giving concrete shape to the various proposals discussed during the Dialogue.
Tokyo PR# 09/2021