German investors are keenly looking at Pakistan for joint ventures and investment, while German company – GIZ, was also working to promote technical training and skills development of its youth, said German Ambassador Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck.

During a visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), he said that the country’s private sector should engage such trainees to improve its productivity.

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 Pakistan’s economy of was improving, however, the country 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 the German economy and there was a need to develop close cooperation between the SMEs sector 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 the two countries. Schlagheck assured that he was working in tandem with the Pakistan ambassador in Germany to encourage more German investors towards Pakistan.

Also speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that Germany was an important trading partner of Pakistan with bilateral trade of over $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 the country. “Pakistan has abundant human talent with cheap labour cost, which provides great advantage to German investors to explore JVs and investment.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2021.

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