ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said that Pakistan would welcome the Japanese companies to invest in Pakistan as it would enhance the capacity of Pakistan's industrial sector to produce value added goods.

In a meeting with Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Takashi Kurai who called on him here, the prime minister said that Pakistan regarded Japan as a close friend and a reliable economic partner, said a PM Office statement.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi highlighted the significant improvement in the economic and security environment of Pakistan and attributed it to the successful law enforcement operations against terrorist groups.

Emphasizing on bilateral relations, the prime minister said that Pakistan looked forward to greater level of cooperation between the two countries particularly in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people contact.

He said that Japan may consider a three to four years exemption for Pakistani textiles under Temporary Tariff Measures to bring Pakistan at par with its competitors which enjoy free access to Japanese market.

The ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s economic growth and stated that Pakistan’s perception particularly in Japan has changed to a business-friendly country.

The envoy said that Japan gave importance to investment security, infrastructure and business-friendly environment and Pakistan has achieved marked improvement in all the three aspects.