ISLAMABAD    -      Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Tuesday announced to assist the automobile industry in order to enhance its domestic production from existing 200,000 cars by introducing new safety and environment friendly features. A delegation of JICA headed by its Chief Representative Shigeki Furuta called on Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile.  Furuta ensured that JICA will provide assistance for economic development of Pakistan owing to the improvement of investment regime in the country. Better business climate and supporting activities of Japanese Automobile Companies (Suzuki, Toyota and Honda) in Pakistan including promotion of their associated industry in Pakistan was deliberated in the meeting. Moreover, JICA will also support in developing requisite regulations for the said new features and establishing inspection infrastructure for testing of new & used vehicles of insurance safety of the consumers, JICA chief highlighted.

The Adviser to Prime Minister apprised participants that the Auto Development Policy (2016-21) provided a uniformed and consistent Policy Framework for the development of Auto Industry in Pakistan which offered tremendous opportunities for the investment in auto sector. Moreover, the Adviser informed the delegation regarding enormous investment opportunities in technology up gradation of whole value chain, including ginning, spinning and knitting, of textile sector as the textile manufacturers are using very old technology which has made them uncompetitive in the global textile market. For this, Japanese Government should create a fund which can be used for the purchase of machinery by Pakistani textile manufactures for technology upgradation of textile sector, he added.  He further emphasised that Pakistan has upgraded its investment and business environment   owing to its improved global ranking in Ease of Doing Business Index by 11 points. In this regard, Pakistan has also launched a program, Regulatory Guillotine, to ease the business regulations. Through this program 2 to 3 regulations are removed every month to ease out the business activities, the Adviser highlighted. He also added that Pakistan has taken various effective steps to improve trade procedures by establishing better trade facilitation regime.

In a separate development, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Kuninori Matsuda called on the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The Adviser welcomed the Ambassador and called the relations between the two countries having immense importance for both sides. He expressed his desire to expand the trade relations existing between the two countries on mutually beneficial and supportive terms. The Ambassador congratulated the Adviser on assuming his responsibilities as the leader of the financial team of the government and briefed the Adviser on the existing level of cooperation between the two countries.  He told the Adviser that currently the government of Japan and JICA are cooperating with the government of Pakistan on social development programmes, technical assistance in counter terrorism activities and health and hygiene sector.