Pakistan and Japan have decided to find out ways and means to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries.
Date: Nov 11, 2015
Source: International The News by Mehtab Haider
Tsuneo Kitamura, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and 57-member Japanese business delegation visited Pakistan and participated in the 5th Pakistan-Japan Government Business Joint Dialogue. Pakistani side was represented by Mohammad Zubair, Chairman Privatization Commission, Muhammad Shahzad Arbab, Secretary Commerce, Sohail P. Ahmed, President Pakistan Japan Business Forum and accompanying Pakistani business delegation. Both sides exchanged their views on a wide range of issues concerning economic relationship between the two countries including trade and investment.
The Pakistani side elaborated that Japan is a promising market for their textile products. But Pakistan is facing a disadvantageous position because of differential market access, as compared to regional competitors like India, Bangladesh and ASEAN countries. They are enjoying duty free access to the Japanese market, either because of bilateral/regional trading arrangements or having a LDC status.
Although Pakistan has GSP status and is getting on average 1.4% lesser duties than developed countries but yet the tariff imposed on Pakistan’s exports is 5.36% (on average) more than India/Bangladesh and ASEAN countries. Last year, Japan imported textile products amounting to US $38 billion whereas share of Pakistan was only US $123 million less than 0.33%. The Pakistani side explained the contents of “Early Harvest Programme” (EHP) to the Japanese side and expressed desire to discuss EHP covering initially specific tariff lines for textiles. It was agreed that as a way forward, the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan would get feasibility study done.
JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) expressed its desire to start a technical cooperation project to support the Pakistani textile industry in 2016 in order to produce further high value added products and strengthen its international competitiveness.
The Pakistani side pointed out that Olympics 2020 is opening new doors for the temporary movement of natural persons. Pakistan with 180 million people, with a majority of English speaking young skilled manpower, expressed its willingness to cooperate with Japan for successful Olympics 2020. The Pakistani side requested to provide substantive opportunities to Pakistani manpower (skilled and unskilled) towards this end.