SIALKOT -  Mr Yamamoto Masanori, the mayor of Kibichuo Town of Japan , emphasised the development of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the efforts of Pakistan and Japan governments.

Addressing a meeting of Sialkot exporters and SMEs held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the Japanese mayor added that his country was intending to develop its strong cultural, trade and diplomatic relations with Pakistan , besides, focusing on the mutual development of the SMEs sector.

Giving a detailed introduction about his city, he said that Kibichuo is agriculture based small but very much developed town of Japan . He also showed keen interest in developing the agriculture based trade between Kibichuo- and Sialkot.

He stated that Japan is the world’s third-largest economy as it achieved remarkable growth in the second half of the 20th Century. It is an important trading partner of Pakistan .

To a question, he said, “We have found Islam as a peaceful religion, which gives the lesson of peace, unity, harmony, love, affection and brotherhood. The Muslims are good people who want to establish global peace.” He also discussed in details the matters of mutual interest with Sialkot based leading exporters.

On the occasion, SCCI President Majid Raza Bhutta hoped that the Japanese Mayor’s visit to Sialkot would help in expansion of bilateral trade by opening new avenues of economic and trade cooperation.

He said that promotion of trade depends on better coordination, interaction, and understanding among business communities of the two countries, which Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) could facilitate through mutual cooperation.

The SCCI president said that the time was ripe for both Pakistan and Japan to focus on broadening the scope of mutual cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, energy and infrastructure development including all other sectors of interest.

He said, “We are keen to learn from the Japanese Model to improve our skills in production and quality as well.” He urged Mr Yamamoto Masanori to play his pivotal role in creating effective linkage and develop understanding between private sector of Sialkot and Kibichuo. He said that Japan was the role model for the entire world especially in quality manufacturing based on cottage industrial set-up.

About the Sialkot’s unique export culture, the SCCI president told the visiting Mayor that Sialkot is an SME based set-up in which the industrialists produce sports goods, surgical instruments, leather products, gloves of all sorts, textiles items, sports wear, martial arts uniforms & accessories, musical instruments, kitchen ware, hollow ware, knives, cutlery items and military uniform badges etc.

He added that the SME Industry of Sialkot could obviously gain significantly from its counterparts in Japan in terms of research, development, production techniques and methods to curb the issues like energy crisis.

He said that export-oriented Sialkot city has successfully followed the examples of Japan , Germany, Korea, Taiwan and other countries in development of SME culture, as the Sialkot based SMEs have been producing only exportable items and enjoy special status in the international market.

He narrated that Sialkot is an important economic centre and only the export-oriented city of Pakistan where the development of local cottage industries has assumed a high status for the developing world. He said that thousands of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) situated around the Sialkot city were engaged in honouring their global commitments for export of value added quality goods like gloves, musical instruments, martial arts uniforms, cutlery and military badges.

He said that the Sialkot exporters remained in the quest of the best. They utilise their energy with full devotion, dedication, determination, enthusiasm for enhancing exports and achieve the milestone of increasing the exports to the tune of $2 billion annually, he added.

Earlier, the Japanese mayor visited several leading industrial units, and showed keen interest in the manufacturing and production of the sports goods and surgical instruments. He also witnessed the international standard craftsmanship of the artisans.