ISLAMABAD: Japan and Pakistan have immense potential to expand bilateral trade and economic ties, said Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda.
In an interview with APP on Monday, he highlighted that Pakistan was a major exporter of goods such as cotton, apparel, fruits, cement, leather and leather goods to Japan.
“Both countries have the potential to enhance bilateral trade from the current volume and double the figure by exploiting the resources,” he said. The envoy pointed out that Japan and Pakistan were enjoying excellent historical, diplomatic and economic relations and Japan had always lent support to Pakistan.
Replying to a question, the ambassador said Pakistan and Japan were making efforts to increase bilateral cooperation in agriculture-based industries and value addition.
“In fact, Japan has already announced financial aid to enhance productivity in relevant agricultural fields,” he added.
Matsuda revealed that Japan was willing to enhance cooperation in the auto parts industry as well to enhance the capacity of local labour force and create employment opportunities in Pakistan.
He maintained that Japanese companies were interested in establishing industrial units of auto parts in Pakistan in order to bring foreign investment and provide opportunities to the local people.
Replying to another question, he said that Japanese firms had directly invested in the production line of Pakistan as Suzuki was engaged in producing cars in the country.
“Suzuki and Toyota cars are popular vehicles in Pakistan because they meet the local demand efficiently,” he pointed out. “Recently, Japan announced an aid of $5.2 million to support agri-food and agriculture-based industrial development in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.”
The diplomat detailed that the amount would be utilised for the enhancement of productivity and capacities of relevant sectors in the cattle meat value chains in different districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
He said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) was already working in potential agro-based regions of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa including Hazara, Swat and Chitral and in Gilgit-Baltistan for promoting innovation and value addition culture.
“Through Jica, the Japanese government is working on cold storage facilities for the preservation of apple, apricot and other perishable fruits,” he said. “In November, Pakistan and Japan agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at export of thousands of high-skilled labourers from Pakistan to Japan.”