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Japan rules out early FTA and PTA with Pakistan

Business Recorder

Resumption of yen loan reiterated: Japan rules out early FTA and PTA with Pakistan


ISLAMABAD (April 08 2005): Japanese Foreign Minister Nobuptaka Mechimura has ruled out any possibility of early Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Pakistan. Nobutaka Machimura, visiting Pakistan for a regional conference, conveyed the news to his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Press Secretary to Japanese Foreign Ministry Hatsuhisa Takashima told newsmen after the meeting here, on Thursday.

However, he said, Nobuptaka reiterated his country’s offer to resume yen loan facility to Pakistan. The facility was suspended in 1998, when Islamabad conducted nuclear tests.

He said Nobuptaka told Kasuri that Tokyo would also encourage Japan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) to Pakistan by asking its private sector companies to prefer Islamabad on other destinations for investment.

The Japanese foreign minister also held meeting with South Korean counterpart on the sidelines of the ACD conference held here.

He said Nobuptaka-Kasuri meeting covered wide ranging issues with the main focus on Abdul Qadeer Khan’s alleged underground activities for nuclear proliferation.

Hatsuhisa said the visiting foreign minister sought details of A.Q. Khan’s investigations for his country’s consumption. He said Japan suspects Qadeer’s link with North Korea’s nuclear programme.

He replied in negative when asked if Japan had some specific information on alleged linkage between Abdul Qadeer’s underground activities and North Korea’s nuclear programme.

However, he claimed that his country was seriously concerned over Khan’s underground activities.

Hatsuhisa added that Japan appreciated Pakistan’s measures to control export of weapons of mass destruction.

On the issue of double taxation, Hatsuhisa said that both the sides would discuss arrangements as a part of wide ranging issues and would evolve some workable policy.

He said the prime minister of Japan would visit India and Pakistan during the last week of the current month or some time early next month. He said the Japanese premier would also visit South Korea in June to discuss the issues of bilateral interest with the leadership of that country.

 source: Business Recorder