The China Pakistan Economic Corridor is open to every nation, and Pakistan offers incentives to foreign countries to take part in the CPEC.
Japan may become the next country to join the CPEC. On September 9, when meeting with Japanese Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda, Pakistani Defence Minister Pervez Khattak invited Japanese companies to invest and operate in CPEC projects.
In the past, Japan was an important contributor to infrastructure development in Pakistan as the Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan financed several highways and tunnels including the Kohat tunnel. In 2017, representatives from Japan stated that this initiative was greatly appreciated by Japanese companies, and they were looking for getting involved as the CPEC opened to foreign businesses. In September 2018, some business groups from Japan visited Gwadar to discuss about possible investment in real estate and tourism.
The Sindh regional government once considered applying for a Japanese loan to build the Karachi Circular railway, although this project has not yet progressed.
However, Japanese investment to Pakistan and the CPEC is about to surge as the Pak-Japan Business Council (PJBC) announced in early September a $100 million investment plan. According to this Japan-Pakistan trade association, Japanese companies will target industrial zones in Punjab but will also explore other regions in Pakistan.
It is important to mention that China also encourages third parties to invest in the CPEC to make it a truly international corridor.
As Japan moves to CPEC, European companies must also explore the opportunities offered by the CPEC in various sectors including textile, agribusiness, real estate, transport…