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The Japanese government desires to cement ties between the two countries through mutual trade and business ventures. There are possibilities of cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, energy and security. This was stated by Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Takashi Kurai during his meeting with Federal Minister Privatisation Mr. Daniyal Aziz here in Islamabad today.

Federal Minister welcomed the Japanese interest in Pakistan’s economy and prospects of mutual cooperation thereof. He also appreciated the Japanese assistance in terms of energy sector back in 2015. Mr. Aziz apprised the Ambassador about Pakistan’s privatization program. He encouraged Japan to look into investment in areas of transport, manufacturing, energy, financial institutions and infrastructure and participate in the open and transparent privatisation transactions. He especially highlighted two public entities, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) as the two biggest challenges in need of revival for profit-making. Mr. Aziz said that there are certain structural issues which need to be tackled in order to move towards smooth transition to privatisation. Privatisation commission is giving top priority to all employees’ related issues of PSM and PIA.

According to the Minister transaction is always a coordinated effort involving various line ministries and hence we need to see a broader perspective especially in power sector as we cannot shut down DISCOs. In case of PIA there existed a law and the incumbent government is following the law in letter and spirit, the minister added that there is a resistance from the opposition as certain political players are trying to score political points, but they could not corroborate their claim with proofs, as the law for the privatisation of PIA was unanimously passed by all the parties. The federal Minister also discussed the transaction plan for PSM and government’s efforts for rescuing the PSM.

The minister concluded the meeting by expressing his resolve to take the privatisation work to its logical conclusion with the help of law and for the interest of the nation. Japanese ambassador appreciated the efforts of privatisation minister.