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Germany keen to help Pakistan in energy sector: Ina Lepel

ISLAMABAD, MAR 05 (DNA) – Ms. Ina Lepel, Ambassador of Germany said that Germany has financially supported major hydropower projects and upgradation of distribution system in Pakistan and it was currently focusing on renewable energies and energy efficiency in Pakistan including consultancy for individual enterprises on energy conservation in their production processes.

She said the Pakistan-German Renewable Energy Forum will open soon for business. She expressed these views while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

She said a German business delegation along with Deputy Foreign Minister had already visited Pakistan in last June while another delegation was envisaged for Pakistan during the second half of this year to explore new avenues of mutual cooperation.

She said Germany’s trade figures with Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia were much larger and Pakistani businessmen should make more efforts to promote trade with Germany.

Ms. Ina Lepel said GSP+ was a key driver for promoting bilateral trade between Pakistan and Germany and Germany was looking at ways of helping Pakistani business community to fully avail themselves this facility.

However, she cautioned that GSP+ preferences should not be taken for granted as Pakistan has to ensure compliance with 27 international conventions including human rights, governance and labor standards etc. She said European countries have some concerns over death penalty in Pakistan and Pakistan should take measures to address these concerns.

She said Germany was one of main donors for the TVET reform program in Pakistan to provide young people with the skills and competences required by domestic and foreign employers. Another program at the factory level was aimed at enhancing the productivity and improving labor standards which could give Pakistani companies competitive edge in European markets as European consumers were willing to pay more for products produced according to the international standards.

She said his Embassy was working with the Pakistani business community to strengthen the German-Pakistan Business Institutions. She said Pakistan-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been granted license and hoped that it would further improve bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.

In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that given the market size of Pakistan and Germany, bilateral trade of $2.3 billion in 2014 was not up to real potential of both countries and there was a great need of diversifying two-way trade by focusing on more products.

He said keeping in view the importance of CPEC for investors, it was high time that more German companies and investors should explore Pakistan for investment and joint ventures.=DNA

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