Pakistan seeks trade concessions from Japan
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday sought a concessionary package from Japan to boost its textile exports before the two countries sign any bilateral trade agreement.
The Pakistan-Japan Business Roundtable , which was led by Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and the Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan, Hiroshi Oe, discussed specific matters of trade and investment.
Fahim stated that the existing volume of trade between the two countries, which stood at $2 billion, was far below its trade potential, adding that the lack of any bilateral trade treaty had put Pakistani textile exports to Japan at a disadvantage.
The Japanese delegation expressed interest in exporting items from Pakistan to India and sought the government’s assistance in reducing non-tariff barriers on Indian side.
The commerce minister expressed hope that the Pakistan-Japan business meeting would be a major step towards the conclusion of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
Pakistan has already offered Japan to set up a Special Economic Zone and Textile City in the country, and the business meeting discussed the potential of the proposed zone.
However, the Japanese delegation expressed fear over the prevailing law and order situation and power shortages, and advised the government to effectively address these issues.
The Japanese delegation also offered its official development assistance (ODA) to improve infrastructure in Pakistan, particularly in the railways sector.