TOKYO

The member companies of the Japan-Pakistan Business Cooperation Committee (JPBCC), under Chairman Teruo Asada, had a meeting with the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here and informed him that the member companies were closely following the positive economic developments in Pakistan and were supportive of the bold economic policies of the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Welcoming the finance minister on behalf of the Committee members, Asada briefed him about the activities of the Committee to increase business and economic cooperation between the two countries. The Japan-Pakistan Business Cooperation Committee has held six meetings with its counterpart, the Japan-Pakistan Business Forum, since 2001. The last such meeting was held in Tokyo in March 2012.

The finance minister briefed the member companies of JPBCC in detail about the meetings he had during the visit with the Japanese ministers, organizations such as JICA, JETRO, JBIC as well as corporate sector. Dilating upon the Pakistan economy, the finance minister informed them that the international financial institutions had re-started working with Pakistan as Pakistan now was not Pakistan of 2012. Pakistan, he said, now offered competitive incentives to foreign investors and called on the Japanese businesses to expand their business operations in the country.

The Japanese companies could take advantage of the 2012 law on special economic zones while the government would also announce a new auto policy soon, he added. He also called on the Japanese companies to set up textile industry in Pakistan to take advantage of cheap labour as well as possibility to export to Europe under the GSP Plus scheme. He further assured the companies that the government was seriously working to improve the energy situation and also achieve security stability. He briefed them of Pakistan’s efforts at closer regional connectivity as well as divestment of shares of various state owned entities.

Asada, in the end, thanked the finance minister on behalf of the member companies for giving them a detailed account of Pakistan’s current economic and investment situation and filling an information gap. He expressed the hope that Japanese companies would take advantage of Pakistan’s turnaround by expanding their businesses in various sectors in the country.

The meeting was also attended by Chairman, Board of Investment, Ambassador of Pakistan in Tokyo and other senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and Embassy of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar held a meeting with a high level delegation of Yamaha Motor Corporation here. The delegation was led by Katsuaki Watanabe, Senior Executive Officer, Motorcycle Business Operations.

The finance minister welcomed the decision of Yamaha Motors to start business in Pakistan, taking advantage of the new-entrant policy of the government. He informed the delegation that Pakistan offered excellent business and investment opportunities with low labour costs, geographical proximity to the Middle East and Central Asian Republics and South Asia as well as incentives for foreign investors. He wished the Yamaha delegation the best in its business endeavours in Pakistan and assured that any issues faced by them would be resolved soon. He asked the Yamaha delegation to further market Pakistan by spreading the word about Pakistan’s investment conditions amongst other Japanese companies.

The Yamaha delegation briefed the finance minister about the progress of work on its motor cycle manufacturing plant. The finance minister was informed that the plant would produce 31,000 units in the first year with a localization of 25 percent. He was further informed that Yamaha would achieve 55 percent localization in three years and 85 percent in five years. Yamaha delegation stated that the delegation would bring new value to Pakistani market and increase the competitiveness of its industry. Yamaha would initially focus on the domestic Pakistani market and target exports at a later stage.

It was decided that the inauguration of the Yamaha motor cycle manufacturing plant would take place in April this and that Yamaha President would visit Pakistan on the occasion.