Pakistan begins marketing ICT professionals in Japan
Pakistan’s exports to Japan jumps by 40 percent during January to March
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan has begun a process to market its professionals from Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Japan, aimed at fetching a maximum quota in the jobs recently announced by Tokyo for the overseas workers.
Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), an attached department of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OHRD), has recently signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Inter-SES (a private organization) for the purpose, a senior officer told APP.
Under the partnership, the Inter-SES would not only market the highly qualified workforce in Japan, but also share the jobs’ demand, emanating from Japanese companies, with the OEC, he said, adding it would be posted on an online portal, www.jobs.oec.govt.pk to inform the youth about the new and lucrative employment opportunities.
“This will not be a brain drain for Pakistan as the ICT workforce will have different type of job opportunities in Japan including online, freelance and in-person,” he insisted.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on OPHRD also confirmed the development on his twitter account while announcing the beginning of recruitment of Pakistani workers from Information Technology (IT) sector in Japan in near future.
“OPHRD and Inter-SES are collaborating to offer job opportunities in Japan for qualified youth of Pakistan,” he tweeted the other day.
A few days earlier, while addressing the signing ceremony of the MoU between OEC and Inter-SES, he announced that recruitment of 120 skilled workers, who had been imparted Japanese language by the ministry, was underway.
The SAPM said the government would soon appoint a Community Welfare Attachee in Japan to boost footprint of Pakistani workforce in Japan.
“Since Japan is an aging population and will be needing around 500,000 of workforce in future, it is our priority to fetch maximum quota for Pakistan out of this,” Zulfikar Bukhari maintained.
Pakistan’s exports to Japan have jumped by 40% in the first quarter (Jan – Mar) during the current year as compared with the last quarter of 2020 i.e. (Oct – Dec).
According to trade figures released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance, the increase is more than 47% when compared to the same period last year i.e. Jan – Mar 2020, Pakistan embassy in Japan said in a press release on Sunday.
This trend highlights that Pakistan is coming out of the challenges to international trade posed by the current pandemic.
Covid related limitations had brought a slight negative impact on trade between Pakistan and Japan towards the end of last year; however, Pakistan’s exports to Japan bounced back in high numbers.
As compared to exports of US$ 61.6 million in the last quarter of 2020, Pakistan has exported goods worth of US$ 86.1 million to Japan from January to March 2021, whereas exports in the same quarter last year stood at US$ 58.7 million.
This multiplying trend observed in bilateral trade is mainly associated with focused efforts of the mission to diversify the export mix of Pakistan for Japan.
Pakistani Mission in Tokyo, through its Trade and Investment Wing, devised an export diversification strategy ‘Option Pakistan’ last year with a focused layout plan – reaching out to all major business chambers and trade associations in Japan, introducing a range of Pakistani exportable products.
Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmad along Trade and Investment Consular Tahir Cheema held meetings with local government trade departments, regional JETROs and Chambers of Business in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, Sendai, Aomori and other important business hubs.
This high-level interaction with the Japanese business community resulted in raising the confidence of Japanese importers in Pakistani goods.
Augmenting these efforts, the Mission through its Trade Consular Mr Cheema participated in almost all major trade fairs and exhibitions held in and around Tokyo since resumption of such events since September last year in a hybrid mode as international exporters are unable to enter Japan to display their goods for such promotional activities.
The strategy not only resulted in spreading information about Pakistan and its trade potential but also helped in providing Japanese companies with an attractive source of procurement for their businesses that are facing serious issues of depleting stocks due to travel restrictions.
In the recent months, seafood products, petroleum, dry fruits, spices and minerals have contributed to Pakistan’s rising exports to Japan; whereas, a considerable increase has been noticed in export of woven fabric, knitted garments, honey, sports goods, cutlery, socks, gloves, gems & jewelry and dates.
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is also partnering with the Mission to increase presence of Pakistani companies and products in the upcoming events to be held in Japan as the pandemic prolongs, adding to the challenges of manufacturers and exporters. This support will come in the form of enhanced subsidy by TDAP for priority sectors.
In the coming months, TDAP, JETRO and Pakistan’s Trade Mission at the Embassy will further strengthen plans to increase Pak-Japan trade.