October 09, 2019: Pakistan and Japan are looking for increasing bilateral cooperation in agricultural-based industry and value addition as Japan has already announced grant aid to enhance productivity and capacities in relevant agricultural fields.
Recently Japan has announced a grand aid of $ 5.2 million to support Agri-Food and Agro-Industry development in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Yusuke Shindo told APP here Wednesday.
The senior diplomat said that this amount would be utilized for enhancement of productivity and capacities of relevant sectors in the cattle meat value chain in districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Abbottabad, Kohistan and D I Khan and apple value chain in province of Balochistan in Quetta, Killa Abdullah and Pishin.
Replying to a question, he said that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was already working on potential agro-based region of Khyber Pakhtunkwa including Hazara, Swat and Chitral as in Gilgit Batistan for promoting innovation and value addition culture in these areas.
He said that through JICA, the Japanese government was also working on cold storage for the preservation apple, apricot and other perishable fruits.
“We are initiating capacity building training for farmers’ related sowing, cultivation and use of prepared crops and fruits for value addition through increase the value of these products,” the senior diplomats said.
Replying to a question, he said that Japanese companies were interested in establishing the industrial units of auto parts in Pakistan for bringing investment to provide opportunity to the local people.
Senior diplomat said that Pakistan had proposed and wanted to negotiate on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to provide more access in both potential markets.
He said that before negotiating on FTA both side were negotiating to lower the tariff line in potential trade items and also go further for preferential trade agreement in future.
He appreciated Pakistan’s steps for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and reforms in national tax system, which provided conducive business environment for foreign investor including Japan.
Replying to a question regarding Japanese exports to Pakistan, he said that Japan had major exports in automobile sector including motor cars and vehicles, flat steel, tractors and transport.
He added that Japan had imports mainly in agriculture including cotton yawn, oils, knitwear’s, cotton fabric and woven cotton fabric.
He said that both side have more potential to increase bilateral trade from current volume of trade and double the figure to exploit the resources.
He said that Pakistan needed to enhance the competitiveness in exports for competing in international market to increase its export to lower balance of payments issue.
He said that Japan and Pakistan has enjoyed historical diplomatic and economic relation, where Japan has always supported Pakistan in every situation.