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Germany keen to strengthen bilateral trade with Pakistan: Envoy

MULTAN: German Ambassador to Pakistan Bernhard Schlagheck has said that Germany wanted to expand scope of bilateral trade relations with Pakistan. He said that two business delegations are scheduled to visit Pakistan to explore collaboration with their Pakistani counterparts.

Addressing the gathering of the business community at the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), the ambassador pointed out that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Germany amounted to over 3 billion euros with the trade balance in favour of Pakistan.

Ambassador Schlagheck was glad to visit Multan and he was highly impressed with the culture of this ancient city and significance of this area. He said Germany is keen to strengthen mutual trade ties with Pakistan. Theenvoy urged for more business-to-business contacts between German and Pakistani businessmen. He assured full cooperation in ensuring easy access for Pakistani exporters to German as well as international markets including the European Union.

More than 30 German companies are already working in Pakistan while efforts are being made to attract more German investment in order to enhance current trade volume between the two countries. In this connection two-three German trade delegations are expected to visit Pakistan this year, said Mr. Bernhard Schlagheck, Ambassador of Germany, Islamabad. Regarding enhancement of bilateral trade, he said that private sector is considered as economic engine of any country and we must encourage direct relations between the private sectors of the two countries.

He explained in detail about the economic strength of Germany and said that its robust SME sector is contributing a major role in the overall development of this country. “Most of these units are 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 told that next year, two delegations regarding textile and chemical will visit Pakistan while yet another delegation on renewable energy is also in the pipeline. He hoped that these delegations will have direct links and by themselves explore the business opportunities available in Pakistan.

Later Senior Vice President of MCCI Syed Iftikhar Hussain Qureshi presented a vote of thanks .During Question-Answer session, Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi President of Dera Ghazi Khan Chamber said that Germany is a reliable trade partner of Pakistan and it should help Pakistan in health ,Renewable energy and agriculture sector. He suggested that he (the envoy) should visit other areas of Southern Punjab like Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan,Muzaffargarh, Loralai. Former President of MCCI Mian Fazal Elahi Sheikh stressed the need for softening the visa policy for traders and suggested that Gernman visa must be issued on the recommendation of Multan Chamber. Syed Zulfikar Ali Shah also gave some proposals for transfer of modern technology in different trades.Shakil-ur-Rehman said that Pak- German Agriculture Institute and farm must be reactivated to train the local farmers in modern technology. Later Mian FazalElahi Sheikh presented a shield to the guest.

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