Germany to help Pakistan in exploring new business avenues in Europe: Envoy

By Mian Rashid Asghar
Faisalabad: German Ambassador Ms. Ina Lepel has said that Germany being a major trade partner of Pakistan in the European market would continue to extend its diplomatic and political support to help explore more avenues for bilateral business. Addressing a meeting at Pakistan Textile Exporters Association here on Tuesday, she said that Germany is one of the important trade partners of Pakistan and several German companies are working in different trade fields in Pakistan. Both countries have potential to increase the trade volume and we must carve out ways and means to exploit the available potential. She termed GSP plus as a key driver for promoting bilateral trade and said that with duty free access to EU, Pak-German trade volume has reached at 2.24 billion dollar in last year with positive growth of 16%. In first half of current fiscal year, growth in bilateral trade has been witnessed as 6%. Ina Lepel said that Germany is looking at ways of helping Pakistani business community to fully avail from the available opportunity. However; she cautioned that GSP plus preferences should not be taken for granted as Pakistan has to ensure compliance with 27 international conventions. In order to further strengthen business institutions, Pakistan-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been established which would further improve bilateral trade and economic relations, she said and added that Germany is currently focusing on renewable energies and energy efficiency in Pakistan including consultancy for individual enterprises on energy conservation in their production processes. GIZ is working in different sectors of economy to enhance the productivity and the working conditions to further improve the quality and quantity of exportable surplus from Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Ajmal Farooq Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association welcomed the German Ambassador and briefly enlightened the core functions of the Association. He thanked the German Government on its sincere support for duty free access of Pakistani goods to E.U and grant of GSP plus status for Pakistan. GSP plus have given a quantum jump to Pakistan’s exports to EU and textile exporters being major beneficiary, are driving benefit from GSP plus. Highlighting the warm friendly relations between Pakistan and Germany, he said that Germany no doubt is one of the vocal and reliable supporters of Pakistan and has taken extreme measures to support its economy. Both the countries signed world’s first bilateral investment treaty in 1959 and entered into financial cooperation in 1961. He termed Germany as a major export destination for Pakistan and largest trading partner among the EU countries; however, he stressed the need of diversification in two-way trade as bilateral trade is not up to real potential. He invited the German companies and investors for investment and joint ventures.Inviting German support in energy sector, Ajmal Farooq said that Germany has earned respectable name in alternative energy solutions; therefore transfer of technology and joint ventures in this regard could be a great favour to Pakistan’s economy. He appreciated the role of German embassy in Islamabad for facilitating the textile exporters to enhance the bilateral trade. He hoped that this cordial relationship and facilitation would continue in future as well. Later former textile minister Ch. Mushtaq Ali Cheema presented PTEA shield to the German Ambassador. A large number of textile exporters were present at the occasion.

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