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Pakistan to welcome Japan, WB investment in energy sector: PM

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday that Pakistan would welcome investment by Japan and the World Bank in the energy sector of the country.

The prime minister expressed these views in his meetings with Taro Kimura, the Special Envoy of Japanese Prime Minister, and Phillippe le Houerou, Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia, who separately called on him here at the PM’s Office. In his meeting with Taro kimura, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan attaches high priority to its relations with Japan, and both the countries need to take these relations to new heights as these had been consolidated over decades.

He emphasised that Japan was a valuable development and trade partner, and Pakistan would appreciate further Japanese investment in various sectors, especially Japan’s special economic zone. He said that development and national building was the top-most priority of the newly-elected democratic government of Pakistan andJapanese investment, therefore, would be most crucial in this regard.

He said that both the countries needed to take measures to raise the level of their bilateral trade, which stood at $2.1 billion in 2012. “We need to rectify the trade imbalance, which is tilted heavily against Pakistan. This can only be achieved if Japan imports more products or increases the quantity of existing importable products from Pakistan. Lowering of tariff rates for Pakistan textiles would also be helpful. We hope the Japanese government would give this idea a favourable consideration,” he added. He said that Pakistan would also appreciate if the Japanese investors/ donor agencies helped Pakistan in mitigating its energy shortages by financing the energy projects in Pakistan like the Daimer-Bhasha Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam, Munda Dam and other small/ medium dams. He said that Pakistan was keen to learn from the Japanese achievements in the fields of science and technology and other sectors. In his meeting with Phillippe le Houerou, Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia and Country Director, Richard Benmessaoud, the prime minister appreciated the endeavours the World Bank had made over a period of time for the development and overall progress of Pakistan. He expressed the confidence that the organisation would continue extending its support for the development projects in the country.

He said that Pakistan was currently faced with an energy crisis and would welcome the World Bank’s investment in the sector to improve the living condition of the people. Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar was also present on the occasion.

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