Envoy terms Pakistan a viable option for German investors
Islamabad : The investors of Germany were looking with interest at Pakistan, which was a viable option for them for JVs and investment. German company GIZ was working in Pakistan to promote technical training and skills development of its youth and Pakistani private sector should engage such trainees to improve its productivity. This was stated by H.E. Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck, Ambassador of Germany while interacting with the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). Christian Böttcher, Economic Counsellor of German Embassy also accompanied him at the occasion.
Responding to a proposal for potential opportunities of JVs and investment for German investors in CPEC, the German Envoy said that investment by local investors in CPEC will give more confidence to foreign investors. He said that the economy of Pakistan was improving, however, Pakistan needed to focus on cohesive economic policies, improve tax regime to widen tax base and streamline lengthy litigation procedures to promote ease of doing business and attract more investment. He said that SMEs were the backbone of German economy and there was a need to develop close cooperation between the SMEs of both countries to strengthen bilateral business relations. He highlighted water and waste management, healthcare, industry, agro manufacturing and food security as potential areas of cooperation between Germany and Pakistan. He assured that he was working in tandem with the Pakistan Ambassador in Germany to encourage more German investors towards Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Germany was an important trading partner of Pakistan with bilateral trade of over USD 3 billion, however, there was much more potential to increase trade volume given the size of both economies. He said that the automobile was a growing sector in Pakistan and German auto companies should transfer technology and set up manufacturing plants in Pakistan. Pakistan has abundant human talent with cheap labour cost, which provided great advantage to German investors to explore JVs and Investment in Pakistan. He said that some German companies were already doing successful business in Pakistan and more should come to take advantage of growth opportunities in Pakistani market. He also briefed the Ambassador about the future plans of ICCI to organize various trade festivals & industrial exhibitions and said that German investors should explore them.
Fatma Azim Senior Vice President, Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI, Mian Shaukat Masud, Muhammad Shakir, Javed Iqbal, Omais Khattack, Shaukat Hayat Khan, Aslam Khokhar, Shakeel Munir, Saeed Khan, Ch. Ashraf Farzand, Khalid Chaudhry, Nasira Ali and others also spoke at the occasion and offered useful proposals for further improving bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Germany.