ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri on Friday said Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Japan.

Talking to Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan, Mitsuhiro Wada who called on her at Benazir Income Support Porgram Headquarters, the minister said Pakistan greatly valued the important contributions made by Japan in supporting Pakistan’s development efforts over the years.

She said that Pakistan and Japan had cordial and cooperative relations for the last several decades.

“We hope this relationship will continue to remain solid notwithstanding the regional and international developments and our respective relations with other countries,” she added.

Federal Minister said that Japanese investment in Pakistan brings goodwill for the people of Pakistan and it strengthens our relations. Pakistan is trying to stabilise the economy to attract FDI.

“In spite of social and economic difficulties, people of Pakistan are kind to us,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan.

Pointing towards the flood situation in Pakistan, Shazia Marri said that there are thousands of pregnant women in the flood affected areas who need the world’s attention.

“We are still in rescue stage but when the water will recede then we need a lot of resources for rehabilitation. We have never seen such a huge devastation,” she added. Traditional and social media of Pakistan tried its best to get world’s attention at this critical juncture, said the Japanese Ambassador.

Year 2022 is being marked as “70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations” between the two countries. The volume of our bilateral trade is much below our potential. I have noted that Japanese investments in Pakistan have declined in recent years. Hope you would make an effort to enhance Japanese FDI to Pakistan, she said.

The minister appreciated the positive contribution of Japanese companies in the economic development of Pakistan. Shazia Marri appreciated Japanese government’s decision to lower the infectious disease risk information level “Level 2 (Avoid non-essential travel)” to “Level 1 (Exercise caution)” for countries including Pakistan. Meanwhile, a press release issued by BISP, stated that as of Wednesday evening a total of Rs. 13,404,568,542 have been disbursed among 532,264 flood affected families all across Pakistan under the Flood Relief Cash Assistance programme.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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