MULTAN: German Ambassador Dr Bernhard Schlagheck has said that his country wants to expand bilateral trade with Pakistan.Addressing the executive committee members of the Multan Chamber of Commerce...
MULTAN: German Ambassador Dr Bernhard Schlagheck has said that his country wants to expand bilateral trade with Pakistan.
Addressing the executive committee members of the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday, the German ambassador pointed out that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Germany amounted to over 3 billion Euros with the trade balance in favour of Pakistan. He said that two business delegations were scheduled to visit Pakistan to explore collaboration with their Pakistani counterparts.
German Ambassador Schlagheck was glad to visit Multan and he was highly impressed with the culture of this ancient city and significance of the area.
He said that Germany was keen to strengthen mutual trade ties with Pakistan. The envoy urged for more business contacts between Germany and Pakistani businessmen.
He assured full cooperation in ensuring easy access for Pakistani exporters to Germany as well as international markets, including the European Union.
More than 30 German companies were already working in Pakistan while efforts were being made to attract more German investment in order to enhance current trade volume between the two countries, he added.
In this connection, he continued, two to three German trade delegations were expected to visit Pakistan this year.
Regarding enhancement of bilateral trade, Bernhard Schlagheck said that private sector was considered as the economic engine of any country and we must encourage direct relations between the private sectors of the two countries. He explained in details about the economic strength of Germany and said that its robust SMEs sector was contributing a major role to overall development of the country.
Most of the units were family-owned but conservative and probably similar to Pakistan and hence we must try our optimum best to encourage linkages between these sectors, he added.
He said that next year, two delegations regarding textile and chemical would visit Pakistan while yet another delegation on renewable energy was also in the pipeline. He hoped that these delegations would have direct links and by themselves explore the business opportunities available in Pakistan.
He also proposed that Pakistani ambassadors in Germany should also arrange investment seminars in important chambers of Germany. He assured to extend full facilitation in organising these events.
Bernhard Schlagheck also mentioned the German cooperation in the environment, health, good governance and vocational training and said that he also intends to encourage female entrepreneurs so that they could contribute their productive role to the overall economy of Pakistan.
He told that in this connection, he would discuss various related issues with the vice-chancellors of the Bahauddin Zakariya University and THE University of Agriculture Multan. However, he said, society should also play its role in providing congenial environment to its female population.
Christian Boettcher, Commercial Counsellor of German, was also accompanied by him and explained in details the efforts being made to give a quantum jump to the bilateral trade between the two countries.
Earlier, MCCI president Khawaja Salahuddin said that Multan had immense heritage, rich culture and age-long tradition of learning, wisdom and trade.
Multan had been an important trade centre and gateway for Central Asian states since centuries, he told.
Commenting on bilateral trade between the two countries, he said that German exports were around 3 billion Euros whereas Pakistani exports were only 1.3 billion Euros.
He said that Germany could invest in renewable energy, manufacturing of textile machinery, auto mobile, engineering, chemical and many other sectors in Pakistan.
Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi, president of Dera Ghazi Khan Chamber, said that Germany was a reliable trade partner of Pakistan.
Former president of the MCCI Mian Fazal Elahi Sheikh stressed the need for softening the visa policy for traders.