Pakistan Japan Business Forum (PJBF) took a business delegation to Tokyo last week, comprising of several iconic business groups and SME’s to the 8th Joint Business Dialogue (JD), followed by government to business (G2B) and government to government (G2G) dialogues.
The Pakistani delegation was headed by Sohail P. Ahmed, Chairman PJBF while the Japanese business side was led by Teruo Asada, Chairman of Marubeni Corporation as also of Japan Pakistan Business Cooperation Committee (JPBCC), the counterpart of PJBF in Japan. The Government side was led by Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor (Federal Minister) for Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment. Akimasa Ishikawa, Parliamentary Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) led the Government of Japan side. The dialogue was followed by a seminar by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and later by one to one meeting with various Japanese conglomerates and infrastructure support companies, including SME Support and Japan Productivity Centre. PJBF delegates participated in all the meetings.
In the Joint Dialogue, 58 Japanese companies participated whilst 17 Pakistanis went from here. At the seminar 143 Japanese personnel attended and a lot of enthusiasm was exhibited by the participants who saw Pakistan as a potential destiny for trade and investment. Speakers elaborated upon the strategic location coupled with a population of over 200 million with 60% under the age of 30 years and a growing middle class with an increasing purchasing power. The Japanese investors were informed about the low productivity costs and availability of abundant natural resources supported by a liberal investment regime.
The discussions covered suggestions for improvement in Pakistan’s automotive industry, infrastructure and taxation; issues faced in export of textile, surgical instruments and sports goods to Japan; bandwidth of technology and competence in IT industry of Pakistan , development of Pakistan’s Fisheries sector to enhance export to Japan, assistance in the improvement of productivity of industries, agriculture and irrigation system on the pattern provided to the likes of Vietnam, Bangladesh, India; possibility of cooperation in development and export of fruit pulp and citrus fruits etc.
It was agreed to develop an Action Plan and have a follow up body constituted with both government and private sector members keeping in line with government’s policy of Public Private Partnership. The next JD is expected to be held in Pakistan next year.