ISLAMABAD - Embassy of Japan First Secretary Katsunori Ashida on Monday visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and said Pakistan could be the next destination for Japanese investors due to its low labour cost and potential market for business.

On the occasion, Katsunori said Japanese investors doing business in Pakistan were quite satisfied and more Japanese investors could come to Pakistan if the security situation was further improved. While talking about free trade agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Japan, he said that FTA should be equally beneficial for both countries and should not give undue advantage to any one party. He said that Japan was ready to participate in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) if it proved beneficial for both Pakistan and Japan. He said that Pakistani mangoes were getting popular in Japan, adding that Pakistani businessmen should study the Japanese market to get better penetration in it.

Katsunori said that the Japanese government would provide a grant of Rs453 million for installing a ‘face recognition system’ at major international airports in Pakistan to improve security situation. He said that preparations were underway to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Pakistan-Japan diplomatic relations and many programmes were being planned for this purpose. He said visit of Japanese students to Pakistan was being planned with their stay for few days in a Pakistani home so that they could get the better feel of Pakistani culture.

Speaking at the occasion, ICCI Senior Vice President Khalid Malik said that both countries were enjoying good political relations that should be translated into growing trade and economic relations.

He said that many Japanese companies were doing successful business in Pakistan and more should come to explore opportunities of investment and joint ventures.

He said many Pakistani students were visiting Japan through students exchange programmes and stressed that Japanese students should also visit Pakistan on regular basis. It would help in understanding each other’s culture and market, as well as it would further strengthen the bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.

ICCI Vice President Tahir Ayub stressed that Japan should enhance cooperation with Pakistan in agriculture sector as both countries have good potential to promote trade in this field. Syed Nadeem Mansoor, Raja Abdul Majeed, Saeed Ahmed Bhatti, Naveed Malik, Nasira Ali and others members of ICCI also expressed their views on the occasion.