‘Pakistan should learn strategy from Japan to uplift SME sector’

KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, in a meeting with the Consul General of Japan, Masaharu Sato, has said that “Pakistan should learn and adopt the strategies of Japanese SMEs to uplift the sector here in Pakistan, JETRO Pakistan and KCCI may join hands for mutual cooperation to promote SMEs.”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 to be a milestone for enhancement of bilateral trade.

He drew the attention of Consul General of Japan towards the export potential of Pakistani fruits especially mangoes and citrus, vegetables, rice, and livestock along with textile products including cotton yarn, woven fabric, leather goods, surgical and sports goods, hand-made-carpets, fish and related products.Saeed Shafiq said 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 Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to develop and promote SMEs sector in Pakistan and JICA for technical training programmes.

President KCCI said 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 & Middle East and through Gawadar, Japan can tap their large markets.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 Pakistan has the required potential, however difficulties come due to political uncertainty.

He also said economic boom came in Japan, after World War II and the 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 cooperation with KCCI on matters of mutual interest. The Consul General underscored 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 & JETRO Pakistan to 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 DevelopmentProgramme (BBSYDP) to provide skilled-based training to the underprivileged youth. Ateeq ur Rehman, Advisor to KCCI on CSR, appreciated the Japanese support for “Thalassemia 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. – Brecorder