Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata assured the business community on Monday that the tough visa conditions would be reconsidered and a flexible visa policy would be introduced to facilitate the businessmen.
Addressing the members of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here at the MCCI headquarters, he added that both the countries enjoyed close and cordial bilateral relation since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1952. He said that the friendly relations between the two countries in modern history began with cooperation in mainly economic and business arena and many flagship developments were being carried out with the assistance of Japan. He lauded the role of Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association (PJCA) and said that it played instrumental role in promoting bilateral relations between Pakistan and Japan. He said that PJCA conducted many Japanese cultural activities in cooperation with embassy and Consulate General of Japan.
The Ambassador vowed to further strengthen trade ties between two countries aimed at increasing two-way trade volume. He pointed out that the Japanese business community was reluctant to invest in Pakistan owing to deteriorating law and order situation. He added that high rate of import duty in Pakistan was also a big reason for Japanese imports to Pakistan
Earlier, in his welcome address, President of MCCI Mian Iqbal Hassan underscored the need for broadening the scope of mutual cooperation by extending it to the areas of trade, investment, energy and infrastructure development including all other sectors of investment. He said that there was a wide gap between the imports and exports between Pakistan and Japan. Pakistan imported goods worth $2 billion while it exported goods worth $478 million only. He suggested that Japan should establish its commercial office in Multan because it was a hub of Southern Punjab. He said that Pak-Suzuki did not help local manufacturing industry in producing parts. It was still using Japanese part by 73.09 %. The MCCI President suggested that active engagements of Pakistan and Japan chambers which could act as resource based for exchanging information adding that exchange of trade delegations and holding of joint trade exhibitions would also help in promoting bilateral trade between Pakistan and Japan.