Press Releases|

(2013-12-04)

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform, who is visiting Tokyo from 3-7 December 2013 at the invitation by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to participate in the “Pakistan Infrastructure Seminar” as Keynote Speaker.

Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform met Ms. Midori Matsushima, State-Minister for Economy, Trade & Investment in Tokyo, earlier today.

Prof Iqbal said, “Pakistan and Japan enjoy very deep and close relations. After 65 years a smooth democratic transition from one elected Government to another elected Government has taken place. As such democratic institutions in Pakistan are getting stronger. The PML(N) government has focus on rebuilding the economy and attracting investments for jump starting growth. Economic reforms for economic stabilization have been initiated and a Five Year Plan and Vision 2025 have been launched to transform Pakistan into a upper middle income country by 2025. The top priority for government is energy security with the aim to increase the efficiency of the existing power plants and set up new power plants based on coal, hydel and civil nuclear technology. Up-gradation of human resource with more focus on health, education is high on government’s agenda. Pakistan has a 60% young population out of the total 190 million people. The government is promoting SME sector to generate more employment opportunities for the young population. Up-gradation of infrastructure especially creating the economic corridor to connect China, South Asia and Central Asia is the part of vision 2025 to turn Pakistan into a hub of regional economic activity. Government is working on the reforms in Government sector to transform public sector into high performance organization, civil service reforms, police reforms and tax reforms are on the top agenda of the Government.”

​He said, “law and order situation in Pakistan is improving and is conducive for investment. Pakistan has very liberal investment policy. A leading multinational company in its survey has rated Pakistan as the one of the top 10 most attractive destinations of the world. The government wants to establish knowledge links with Japan so that Pakistan can benefit from Japanese technology and experience. Karachi Circular Railway project is ready for implementation and can become a flagship project for both countries. In order to help Pakistan create jobs for young population, Japan should consider duty concession for Pakistani textile products on the lines of EU.”

HE Ms. Midori Matsushima, State-Minister for Economy, Trade & Investment assured Japanese government’s support in economic development of Pakistan and appreciated the economic reforms undertaken by PM Sharif’s government, which have given greater confidence to international community to engage with Pakistan in economic fields.

The Minister held separate meetings with Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman Japan Pakistan Business Cooperation Committee (JPBCC), and members of JPBCC. Mr Asada agreed to hold next meeting of JPBCC in March, 2014 in Islamabad.

The Minister visited National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) where Professor Takahasi Shiraishi, President GRIPS greeted the Minister. It was agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between GRIPS and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).

HE Mr. Seishiro Eto, Member Lower House & Chairman Japan-Pakistan Parliamentarians Friendship League (JPPFL). Ms. Midori Matsushima and Mr. Gemba, former Foreign Minister hosted lunch in the honor of the Minister.

Mr. Eto reiterated his resolve to intensify intra-parliamentary relations while President National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) concurred with the Minister’s proposal to henceforth initiate negotiations on an MoU on Cooperation between GRIPS and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).

The Minister, recalling the positive understanding for cooperation reached between Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Japan when the two dignitaries met on the margin of UNGA New York on September 26, 2013, reiterated PM Sharif’s invitation for Japanese PM Abe to visit Pakistan.

​Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Mr. Ahsan Iqbal was interviewed by Daily Nikkei – the largest economic newspaper of Japan and Asahi Shimbun – the second largest newspaper in Japan, in which he highlighted the Government’s priorities for the economic development and foreign investment in the country.

Islamabad
4 December 2013

339/2013
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