KARACHI: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has emphasised the need for increased bilateral trade between Pakistan and Japan which he said would benefit both nations.
The foreign minister, who is on a four-day trip to Japan, addressed a function organised by the Pakistani diaspora in Tokyo on Sunday.
The minister said Pakistan and Japan have the potential to increase bilateral trade and investment in diverse sectors.
He added that both countries can benefit from investment in agriculture and livestock.
Meets diaspora, Japanese investors in Tokyo
He urged overseas Pakistanis, especially businesspersons, to play their role in increasing bilateral trade and strengthening the relationships between Pakistan and Japan.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari said the incumbent government was working on economic diplomacy to bring prosperity to the country.
Pakistan can learn from Japan’s advancement in information technology and other fields, the minister added.
Over 65 per cent of Pakistan’s population was youth and the two nations can exploit this human resource through skills-based education and training, Mr Bhutto-Zardari remarked.
The foreign minister also interacted with several Japanese business executives and representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japan External Trade Organisation in Tokyo on Sunday.
During the meetings, the matters related to bilateral cooperation in trade and investment came under discussion.
“Encouraging to see the eagerness for unlocking [Pakistan and Japan] potential in diverse fields including trade, agriculture, technology, education, skilled workforce, clean energy and disaster management,” said a tweet posted on Mr Bhutt-Zardari’s Twitter account after the meetings.
The minister added that the Pakistani diaspora in Japan was contributing towards stronger ties between the two countries. “Today I met with some of its representatives and exchanged thoughts on diversifying our bilateral ties with Japan, particularly in business and trade.”
Mr Bhutto-Zardari reached Tokyo on Saturday, following an invitation from the Japanese government. He was accompanied by his sister Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari.
Upon his arrival, he was received by Pakistan’s ambassador to Japan, officials from the Japanese foreign ministry and members of the Pakistani community in Tokyo, according to the Foreign Office (FO).
Ahead of his visit, the FO said in a statement that the foreign minister’s visit “signals the revival of leadership level contacts with Japan after a considerable hiatus”.
The foreign minister will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi. A meeting with Japanese National Security Adviser Takeo Akiba was scheduled during the trip.
Furthermore, the foreign minister will be delivering a talk at the Asian Development Bank Institute, a think tank in Japan.
“Pakistan and Japan enjoy a long-standing time-tested relationship characterised by warmth, cordiality and commonality of views on issues,” the FO said.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2023