Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan Mr. Koro Bessho calls on President Asif Ali Zardari
Islamabad: Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan Mr. Koro Bessho called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr today. He was accompanied by Mr. Hiroshi Oe, Ambassador, and other Japanese officials.
Pak side included Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General, Mr. Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary, Mr. Noor Muhammad Jadmani, Pak Ambassador to Japan and Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar besides other senior officials.
Matters relating to Pak-Japan bilateral relations, mutual cooperation especially for the promotion of trade and investment, fight against militancy and regional situation were discussed during the meeting.
Progress on various agreed areas of mutual cooperation, particularly trade, investment, energy and infrastructure development, also came under discussion.
The President while welcoming the Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister said that Pakistan greatly values its cordial relations with Japan and several major projects including the Indus Highway Project, a number of power projects, Rural Roads Construction Projects and the Children Hospital of PIMS were examples of longstanding cooperation between the two countries. Pakistan valued Japanese Government direct assistance as well as its support on all forums including FoDP, he said.
He thanked the Japanese government for its readiness to assist Pakistan in various areas where there was vast scope for further promotion of mutual cooperation. He said that the areas of trade and investment offer the greatest opportunities to the two countries to be fully exploited and taken maximum benefit. He said that trade volume between the two countries was yet to fully reflect the depth of the bilateral relations and there was a need to further increase mutual trade activities by encouraging investment in Pakistan.
In this regard, the President recalled his visit to Japan, where he had invited Japanese investors to explore investment opportunities in the Zulfiqarabad City Project. He said that he had offered the Japanese investors a new model of investment to raise equity through the country’s stock exchanges for setting up industries in SEZs (special economic zones) along with tax concessions and facilities to set up captive power plants. He said that availability of huge regional market along with special incentives being offered to the Japanese investors was no doubt a unique opportunity to be benefited fully.
The President said that the vision of transforming our mutual relations into a comprehensive partnership for peace and development would further be promoted by focusing on putting in place the institutional mechanisms for streamlining our trade, investment and commerce activities.
Mr. Koro Bessho thanked the President for meeting and expressed the hope that the relations of two countries would be further strengthened and taken to new heights with increased trade and investment for the mutual benefit. He also assured Japanese Government’s continued support to Pakistan for revival of its economy, combating terrorism, overcoming energy crisis and infrastructural development.
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