ISLAMABAD         -        Japan will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at a ceremony here on December 23 (Monday) for import of skilled Pakistani manpower pertaining to 14 different sectors.

“The MoU will enable Pakistanis to work in 14 sectors of Japan, including construction, information technology, nursing, manufacturing, engineering and others,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minster on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari said during an online interactive session (Pakistan Se Rabta) with the expatriates here on Friday.

He said the ministry had already started sending skilled workforce to few European countries, including Romania and the United Kingdom.

“We are exploring new markets for export of manpower other than the Middle East,” he said while responding to the query of a Pakistani expatriate.

The ministry, he said, was in talks with Germany for the export of Pakistani manpower. The German ambassador had assured him of opening a technical training centre in Islamabad for imparting training to the youth at par with global standards.Zulfikar Bukhari said the ministry was working out a digital mechanism to ensure hassle-free process for intending emigrants in the protectorate offices. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had increased the pension of Employees Old-age Benefit Institution (EOBI) from Rs 6,500 to Rs 8,500, which was a step towards building the country on the pattern of State of Madina.

 “We are intending to raise this amount up to Rs 15,000 by the end of our tenure (2023),” Bukhari said, adding reforms were being introduced in the EOBI to enhance its revenue for the welfare of pensioners.The SAPM said the ministry had managed to invigorate four EOBI mega projects within first year of the PTI government, besides launching the construction work on two of them.

“Two projects, including Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) Tower and Ciniplex and Commercial Complex, will be leased out by February, 2020 to generate additional revenues for EOBI pensioners,” he added.

At present, he said 18 projects worth billions of rupees were in litigation, adding these legal issues would be resolved soon.

 Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda met Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari for a pre-discussion on the MoU to be signed on Monday.

According to the press release received here, both the dignitaries discussed a wide range of issues related to trade, tourism and manpower.

With reference to the MoU, the ambassador said Japan would build a network, in collaboration with language universities in Pakistan, and carry out three to six months language proficiency course with e-learning facilities for far flung areas so as to accommodate maximum number of Pakistanis to work in Japan.