According to an official press release from Tokyo, a seminar organised by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan Pakistan Business Cooperation Committee, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), Trade Wing of the Embassy and the Saffron Group was held at the Pakistani Embassy in Japan. In a first of its kind move, the Pakistani embassy and its private sector stakeholders made an attempt to promote Pakistan Information Technology (IT) products and industry in Japan. Pakistan’s IT industry earnings are expected to overcome the $10 billion mark within the next five years, according to Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA).
Mr. Farukh Amil, the Pakistani Ambassador, outlined the impressive developments in IT in Pakistan during his keynote speech. He shared that while Pakistan’s main source of income is agriculture, there is no dearth of manpower. Personnel and cheap labor costs make it a good investment prospect for foreign investors. The ambassador highlighted the fact that Pakistan’s IT industry saw a 30 percent increase last year alone and has a come a long way since its inception in the early 1980s.
Director General JETRO, Mr. Karou Shraish, highlighted the enormous market size, the increasing youth population, ease of doing business in Pakistan, potential for investments in various sectors especially in IT sector. He mentioned the increasing interest of the Japanese companies and business people and the hospitality of the Pakistanis. Mr. Karou mentioned his own positive experiences in Pakistan in detail. His experience mentioned the passion of the youth, their talent in both manufacturing and services sectors. He was of the view that the Government of Pakistan was taking steps to increase foreign investment and stressed his Japanese fellows to visit the country.
Mr. Mirza Asif Baig of Saffron Group answered any questions that a new Japanese entrepreneur might have regarding the Pakistani market. He stated how any challenges of entering a market like Pakistan could be solved. He shared an interesting fact about road accidents in Pakistan, stating that deaths during such accidents exceeded the number of deaths due to terrorism. Mr. Baig criticised the media for portraying such a negative view of the country. He urged the Japanese dignitaries to view Pakistan with hope as it presents a great opportunity for growth.
Mr. Salman Farooqi, Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, was the guest of honor. He shared that Pakistan started its digital journey in 1980s with cooperation from Japanese companies like NEC. Pakistan’s investment friendly policies and economic reforms coupled with great development in the IT and Telecom sector has made Pakistan a productive market for both domestic and foreign investors, he said. Farooqi believed that Public-Private sector partnership in Pakistan and Japanese interest in the country will lead to a Digital Pakistan.
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