Japanese mayor expresses interest in deepening bilateral ties

Published: November 5, 2016

KARACHI: Despite negative advisories regarding Karachi, Mayor of Kibichou Town of Japan, Yamamoto Masanori, said that he preferred visiting this city, which was secure, peaceful, exciting and one of the most vibrant cities of Pakistan.

Speaking at a meeting with officials during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said that the purpose of his visit was to look for opportunities to exchange goods and service between Karachi and Kibichou town, to enhance trade and further improve relations between the two countries.

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Advising the KCCI to send a delegation to Kibichou town, the mayor said that they were a Muslim-friendly town and welcomed tourists to visit.

“We want to play a role in deepening the existing relations between the two countries,” Yamamoto Masanori added.

Commenting on Pakistan and Japan ties, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo said that both countries have been enjoying healthy bilateral relations since 1952, adding that over 76 Japanese companies were operating in Pakistan.

The trade volume between the two countries was recorded at $1.6 billion during FY16. Pakistan’s exports stood at $197 million and imports were approximately $1.4 billion “Trade volume remains largely in favour of Japan,” said Firpo.

He was of the view that there was huge potential to enhance trade relations between Japan and Pakistan as the former fulfils its large share of grain, textile and surgical goods demand through imports.

Hence, Pakistan can tap these segments by exporting its products to Japan, which would further boost the bilateral trade volume between the two countries.

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Pakistan and Japan must also look for joint ventures in the automobile sector by providing training assistance, said the KCCI official.

He stressed that the project of Karachi Circular Railway should be implemented on fast track as it is a worthwhile investment project, which would facilitate Karachi’s commuters with much desired improved transport services, and would also be more environment-friendly.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2016.

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