Pakistan Japan Business Forum (PJBF) which this month reached 20 years has been celebrating its formation. Chairman of PJBF, Kalim Farooqui held a dinner reception at his residence inviting the Japanese Ambassador, Kuninori Matsuda and which was also graced by the presence of the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi.
The event was largely attended. Seen at the evet were the members of the forum, its founding members, business leaders, senior bureaucrats, city notables as also members of the diplomatic corps based in Karachi. Elaborating upon the 20-year journey of the forum was the display of a video clip summarizing its activities since inception and having congratulatory messages including Pakistan’s Ambassador in Japan, Imtiaz Ahmed, as also Pakistan’s current Ambassador in USA and a former Ambassador in Japan, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan.
Explaining about the forum’s history and activities, Kalim Farooqui stressed upon the basic need to enhance trade and investments and act as a vital bridge between the governments of Pakistan and Japan to address the impediments that stand in the way of attracting investments. Towards this, the forum is included in the Joint Dialogues regularly held between the two governments in their efforts to allow a level playing field between the business communities of the two friendly countries.
The Ambassador of Japan as the Patron-in-Chief of the forum appreciated the efforts of the forum and being overwhelmed with the welcome accorded to him by the host and guests bowed in the Japanese way to express his sincere gratitude. He assured about his efforts in bringing the people of Japan and Pakistan together and narrated on the history of the diplomatic relations which will be celebrating 70 years next year. He also mentioned about the various projects which Japan has helped Pakistan in its development and about the ongoing ones too. He stressed upon both the natural resources and the human resources available in Pakistan and requested the Japanese businessmen to explore. To his own government, he has pointed to the availability of skilled labor in Pakistan and stated that the government of Japan has already signed a memorandum of cooperation to accept thousands from Pakistan in the next five years. Towards this, the business community of Japan needs to identify their needs for the sectors agreed to by both governments and extended the cooperation of his mission in Pakistan.
The President in his speech highlighted the interaction he had recently at various levels in Japan including the Prime Minister and the Emperor of Japan. This happened when he was invited by the Royalty to celebrate the accession to the throne by Emperor Naruhito. The President emphasized upon the business community of Pakistan to learn from the successes Japan achieved in a short span which he attributed to the hard and methodical work and the deployment of technology in manufacturing processes. Pakistan, he said is blessed with ample human and natural resources which can be put to use if more and more joint ventures are established for the mutual benefit of both countries. Himself keen on promoting information technology, he stated the amazing achievement in exports in this sector which is growing by leaps and bounds. He attributed the upward trajectory with respect to economic indicators to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the present government. The stock exchange being a barometer of economic health is also thriving. Therefore, the outside world in now looking at Pakistan as a potential destiny for trade and investments.
Tetsuya Suematsu, Country General Manager of Marubeni Corporation and the Senior Vice Chairman of PJBF representing the business community of Japan in Pakistan in his vote of thanks emphasized upon the Pakistani businessmen to reach out to their counterparts in Japan who understand Pakistan’s potential. Increased interaction and paving way for the Japanese will surely result in joint ventures and contribute towards Pakistan’s economy and employment opportunities.