Japan is mulling over signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Pakistan for the import of skilled labor.
This was stated by Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Yusuke Shindo while talking to APP.
Japan has decided to open the labor market in 14 different sectors, which includes construction, nursing care, agriculture, manufacturing, and light engineering and other sectors, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Yusuke Shindo told APP on Sunday.
The senior diplomat expects that the MoU to be signed during next month, probably in November. He said that Japan intends to attract up to 500,000 blue-collar workers from all over the world during the next five years by 2025 and further enhance this by 2030.
This law, which took effect in April of this year, creates two new categories of visas for blue-collar workers in 14 sectors as Japan is facing a labor crunch.
He said that Japan has opened doors for foreign workers from different countries to alleviate problems caused by its rapidly aging population.
He further said that in the current scenario because of a population of age more than 60, Japan is facing a labor shortage for which, “We need to exports skilled labor from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other Association of South East Asian Nations (ASAIN).”
Japanese Language is a must
He also praised Pakistani workers who are working in Japan, saying that they are skilled and work with full commitment and honesty. The senior diplomat added that professional skills and proficiency in the Japanese language will be a must for the workers under this policy.
He said that in the past, lack of language ability, cultural gaps, cost of training, mismatch in skills and the fact that many foreign workers cannot stay permanently in Japan were some of the problems that the workers faced.
Yusuke Shindo said that Japan has major exports to Pakistan in the automobile sector including cars, Flat steel, tractors, and transport. He added that Japan has imports mainly in agriculture including cotton yarn, oils, knitwear, cotton fabric and woven cotton fabric.
He said that both sides have the potential to increase bilateral trade and can double their trading volume.
Pakistan needs to enhance the competitiveness in its export items for competing in the international market to increase its exports and improve its balance of payments.
Setting up of Industrial Units
Replying to a question, the diplomat said that Japanese companies are interested in establishing the industrial manufacturing units of auto parts in Pakistan to provide an opportunity for the local people. He said that Japanese experts are also ready to train the local agriculture workers for value addition and to establish the agro-industry in Pakistan.
The senior diplomat said that Pakistan has proposed and wants to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to provide more access to both potential markets. He informed that before negotiating the FTA both sides are negotiating to lower the tariff line in potential trade items and also establish a preferential Trade agreement in the future.