Japan speaks out to Pakistan: Fix your auto industry

Japan on Pakistan Automotive

Just weeks before a Japanese business delegation coming to Pakistan on official visit, Japanese Embassy here in Pakistan has spoken to us to fix our auto industry if we ever want to boost foriegn investment, sighting the main obstacles in our race to gain foriegn investment is inconsistent policies.

Sighting an example; Japanese embassy shed light on how the previous government encouraged people to switch over to CNG, even providing incentives to people to switch over while the current government is discouraging, even going a step ahead and announcing its plan to abolish the CNG sector completely.

There are currently approximately 60 to 70 Japanese companies working in Pakistan in different sectors of the economy, especially in areas of auto sector. However, they said: “The inconsistent policies are hurting Japanese companies to invest in Pakistan.” Pakistan is currently out of the scope for Japanese companies mainly because of security concerns, lack of infrastructure, inconsistent economic policies and lack of marketing, resulting into creating a ‘perception gap’ about the country, they said.

The delegation which is going to visit in October consists of representatives from those companies who are interested to invest in Pakistan however they said that there potential avenues in Pakistan which can attract foriegn investment which we are eagerly seeking out by due to electricity (energy) shortfall, security issues and inconsistent policies is the major hurdle.

However, considering all three auto assemblers in Pakistan (Pak Suzuki, Toyota and Honda) are Japanese, the embassy official’s following words favored the trio by sighting another example of inconsistent policies on the topic of auto imports saying that the change in import policy would hurt those who have already invested (Suzuki, Toyota and Honda) but will also reflect a negative image on those who are wishing to invest as any investor looks forward to long-term and stable policies.

Furthermore, when the press representative asked whether they used foriegn aid to gain incentives for the local automakers, the official said that there has always been a connection between the two and that they want to utilize aid money in the best way possible.

Although the number of Japanese companies is on the rise, Yamaha is a great example to show that Japanese interest in Pakistan as the company has been around Pakistan’s power corridors for almost three years now without any solid results, but it can be noted here that even Japanese embassy favors its own auto makers no matter how much their operations are monopolistic and always under malpractice claims by the countrymen.

It shows that none but unless we are willing to build ourselves, no one else can.

Baber K. Khan

An auto enthusiast trying to bring car media mainstream.

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