ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would seek multimillion dollar investment from Japan in dozens of projects mainly in infrastructure development, as the country prepares for a major economic policy dialogue with prosper East Asian nation before its annual budget due next month, officials said.
Several federal ministries and almost all the provincial governments have sent project proposals seeking Japanese help manpower training in high technology areas and a number of infrastructure-related projects.
A high-level economic policy dialogue between Pakistan and Japan is scheduled to be held in Islamabad ahead of upcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2018/19 and a Japanese delegation of senior officials led by a minister is expected to participate.
A spokesman of the Japanese embassy said the planned policy dialogue would provide opportunity to exchange views and information between the two countries particularly in the field of trade and investment, and economic cooperation to enhance the bilateral relationship.
Bilateral trade volume of around two billion dollars between Pakistan and Japan is considered by both the country very low compared with the growth potential.
Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), in the survey, sees Pakistan as the top Asian country for Japanese companies for expected profits in 2018 and chalk out plans for expansion of operations and hiring of the local labour force.
Those results indicate high confidence of Japanese companies’ in future economic prospects of Pakistan and quality of labour force.
Meanwhile, Japan on Tuesday inked an agreement to grant assistance of 500 million Japanese Yen ($4.7 million), under the Economic and Social Development Programme) and 2.392 billion Japanese yen ($22.5 million) for the Improvement of Airport Security (Phase 2).
Takashi Harada, Charge d'Affaires ad interim of Japan to Pakistan and Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, signed the agreement.
The grant for the Economic and Social Development Programme will be utilized to procure equipment for meteorological observation.
It will enable the Pakistan Meteorological Department to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and to disseminate the early warnings for climate disaster.
The second project, the Project for Improvement of Airport Security (Phase 2) ” is a follow-up of the grant aid signed in 2013.
Through the second phase project Japan will provide the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with security equipment for screening of check-in baggage, hand
baggage and vehicles at Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan and the New Islamabad International Airports, while the phase one project provided security equipment for Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports.
This equipment embrace the latest technology matching the international security standards set by the United States and the European Union.
Chief Representative of JICA Pakistan Office Yasuhiro Tojo said this project would support the Pakistan to achieve the key objective of the National Aviation Policy 2015 which is to improve the governance and oversight for the compliance of ICAO standards of aviation safety, security and efficiency in the country.