ISLAMABAD: The 7th Japan-Pakistan High-level Economic Policy Dialogue was held on Friday in Islamabad in a virtual format. 

The Pakistani delegation was led by Noor Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, whereas the Japanese delegation was led by Hiroshi Suzuki, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan. Ambassador of Pakistan to Japan, Imtiaz Ahmad and Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Kuninori Matsuda, also attended the dialogue. The senior officers participated in the meeting from the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Industries & Production, Overseas Pakistanis & HRD, Informational Technology & Telecommunication, National Food Security & Research, and 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 connectivity potential and a hub for transit trade in the region as an attractive destination for Japanese investors. 

Specific discussions took place in economic areas to bridge the balance of trade deficit by increasing exports from Pakistan. Furthermore, the restoration of concessional yen-based loans and enhancement of annual grants were also discussed, along with measures to promote foreign direct investment. Concerned fields included the transfer of technology, value-addition, textile & leather, home electronics, agro-products & food processing, auto sector & electric vehicles, and joint ventures for Pakistan’s export-oriented industries. In the field of investment cooperation, Pakistan proposed to Japan to take advantage of opportunities in its investor-friendly Special Economic Zones. It even offered a country-specific economic zone for Japanese investors. Concerning human resource cooperation, both sides recognised the existence of immense potential in exporting skilled and semi-skilled workforce to Japan. Japan was keen to utilise Pakistan’s highly qualified ICT experts in win-win cooperation for both countries.

Secretary, Economic Affairs highlighted that the two sides’ economic cooperation commenced in 1952 and has ever since been growing and expanding. Both countries have enjoyed a high level of mutual respect, friendship, peace and stability. He also expressed that the Government of Pakistan acknowledges and highly appreciates the cooperation extended by Japan in the areas of socio-economic infrastructure, security and stability, urban services like clean water access, water distribution networks and up-gradation of sewerage systems, education and health, and also for the assistance provided by Japan to combat socio-economic challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Suzuki Hiroshi reiterated long-term commitment and friendship between the two countries and acknowledged and appreciated the Pakistani community’s support during the worst tsunami and earthquakes in Japan during 2011. He advised Pakistan to upgrade its internal systems and quality of governance and business environment. Japanese side appreciated the government of Pakistan’s reforms agenda and assured their full support in better fiscal management, socio-economic development, and making Pakistan self-sufficient. Suzuki Hiroshi was assured to work in close cooperation with Pakistan further to enhance the potential of economic cooperation to new levels.

Both sides resolved to work together in giving concrete shape to the various proposals discussed during the dialogue.


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