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Japanese envoy stresses focus on high-value products

KARACHI: Overall Japanese investment in Pakistan grew to $74 million last year, twice as much as that of the previous year, said by Japanese Ambassador Takashi Kurai, adding that the trade volume between the two countries also registered a double-digit year-on-year increase to close in on $2 billion.

Takashi said Japan’s major imports from Pakistan are textile and organic compounds, whereas Japan’s major exports to Pakistan are machinery, automobiles, and automobile parts, with the trade balance remaining in favour of Japan.

“There are a number of elements for increasing Pakistan’s exports, but a key area is the transition in some way from low-value to high-value products,” he said while giving the example of transitioning from raw materials to apparel.

“It may take some time, but no doubt [it will happen] for Pakistani people are well qualified and have huge potential to achieve it, and Japan is willing to help them with adequate technical support,” he added.

On aid

Meanwhile, the ambassador noted that the total amount of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Pakistan is $13 billion.

“For the sake of building a stable and sustainable society in Pakistan through economic growth, Japan has prioritised three areas, improvement of economic infrastructure, ensuring human security and improvement of social infrastructure, and balanced development for stability in the regions near Afghanistan.”

Besides this, he said, faced with the emerging challenges for the international community, the Japanese government has established a new ‘Development Cooperation Charter’ in 2015 as a fundamental principle of Japan’s development cooperation. Under the Charter, Japan currently pursues “quality growth” of the developing world, including Pakistan.

Clean energy

When asked about Japan’s efforts to convert to clean energy, especially in light of the Fukushima disaster, Ambassador Takashi noted that on November 8, Japan submitted the instruments of acceptance of the Paris Agreement to the UN Secretary-General and decided on the plan for global warming countermeasures, which clarifies its strategic measures for climate change, with a view to implementing the long-term goal set forth by the agreement.

“The plan also paved the way for Japan’s own national target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by FY-2030.

For that purpose, Japan, together with other measures, is introducing and expanding the utilisation of renewable energy.

courtesy : Express Tribune

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