Karachi: Pakistan should learn and adopt the strategies of Japanese SMEs to uplift the SMEs sector here in Pakistan, JETRO Pakistan and KCCI may join hands for mutual cooperation to promote SMEs”, stated by Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a meeting with Consul General of Japan Masaharu Sato. President-KCCI in his welcome note emphasized to promote SMEs which are the driving force for the growth of economy. He focused that Pakistan’s exports to Japan can be multiplied while exploring the vast missed and untapped opportunities.
The Pakistan-Japan Special Economic Zone planned for establishing in Karachi will prove as a milestone for enhancement of bilateral trade. He drew the attention of Consul General of Japan towards exports potential of Pakistan fruits especially mango and citrus fruits, vegetables, rice, and livestock along with textile products including cotton yarn, woven fabrics, leather goods, surgical and sports goods, hand-made-carpets, fish and fish products. He highlighted that Pakistan produces world’s best mango which has great demand in Japan.
He stated that Pakistan-Japan trade was facing imbalance which cannot be abridged because Japan is one of the world’s largest economy, however, Japan offers tremendous opportunities as the Pakistan’s exports are just 11 percent of what Japan exports to Pakistan. He also appreciated the efforts of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) to develop and promote SMEs sector in Pakistan and JICA for technical training programmes. He said that Pakistan-Japan major joint ventures were in automobiles and motorcycles, investment banking and power plants. He asserted to explore more opportunities of joint ventures in power generation, construction of mega projects etc. He concluded that Pakistan offers great opportunities to Japan due to its strategic location on the cross-roads of South Asia, Central Asian Republics and Middle East and through Gawadar, Japan can tap their large markets.
Masaharu Sato, Consul General of Japan, speaking on the occasion, highlighted the burning issues acting as impediment for investment. He stated that better law and order situation, proper infrastructure and consistent Government policies are essential for investment. He asserted upon the need of productive action on discussion between Pakistan-Japan Business Community. He said that Pakistan has flourishing potential in the region however difficulties come due to political uncertainty, likewise, peace is vital to attract investment. He said that investment pursuit profit, cheaper labour force, infrastructure and electricity.
He said that Economic boom came in Japan, after World War II during war of Korea. He said that Korean war brought opportunities for Japan to emerge as developed economy, since Pakistan is also fighting War against terror, therefore, the friendly countries may increase trade to uplift Pak economy. He assured close cooperation with KCCI on matters of mutual interest.
Talat Mahmood, Senior Vice President-KCCI, briefed the Consul General about the role of KCCI in the economy and its achievement to promote trade and industry. He underscored upon the need of improving the perception of Pakistan in the eyes of the countries worldwide. Junaid Esmail Makda, Vice President-KCCI proposed signing of MoU between KCCI and JETRO Pakistan to jointly promote SMEs. He also highlighted the issue of several costly lab-tests (pesticides) for export of agro-products to Japan and urged for some relaxation in regulations.
Majyd Aziz, former President-KCCI expressed gratitude for award of grant under Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) for Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme (BBSYDP) to provide skilled-based training to underprivileged youth. Ateeq ur Rehman, Advisor to KCCI on CSR appreciated the Japanese support for “Thalassaemia Free Pakistan” and generous donations for blood banks and health institutions. Asif Nisar, Chairman, Diplomatic Affairs Sub-Committee and Managing Committee Members also participated in the meeting. Kaoru Shiraishi, Country Director, Japan External Trade Organizations (JETRO Pakistan) was also present on the occasion.