Leader of German Delegation and Senior Ministerial Consul from Bavarian State’s Ministry of Economic Affairs Mr. Ulrich Konstantin Rieger has said, “Many German companies usually look for trade opportunities in China and India whereas Pakistan with a huge population of 220 million can also offer a lot to Bavarian Businessmen and Investors therefore we decided to visit this country.”
Ulrich Rieger, who led a 32-member German delegation during its visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “There is a great potential to enhance bilateral trade and we must use this potential. We have observed that Pakistani businessmen are very active and innovative all over the world and also in Germany.”
President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President Khurram Shahzad, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid, Former Presidents KCCI Mian Abrar Ahmed, Majyd Aziz and Shamim Ahmed Shamsi along with KCCI Managing Committee members, Vice Consul for Economic Affairs from German Consulate Vogel Ingolf, Honorary Consul for Pakistan in Bavaria Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis and others attended the meeting.
Ulrich Rieger further stated that the German Business delegation was here to look for cooperation, new business ideas which is our main interest and they will also be happy to cooperate in transfer of technology. “One of the secrets behind success of Bavaria has been the vocational training and development of SMEs. We can support Pakistan with vocational training and we are ready to do it”, he added.
Referring to concerns expressed over issuance of visas, he opined, “It is much easier to come to Pakistan from Germany but if a businessman from Pakistan wants to come to Germany, it’s not too easier due to Schengen system. As businessmen, we are on your side.”
In this regard, Vice Consul for Economic Affairs from German Consulate Vogel Ingolf clarified that there is no travel advisory warning for travelling to south Pakistan including Sindh and the warning was only for KPK and Baluchistan. “In terms of visas, it is true that visas are issued under Schengen rules for the time that is requested. Our visa rejection rate is the lowest as compared to other Schengen States issuing visas to Pakistanis and we are making it as easy as possible to facilitate travel to Germany”, he added.
Honorary Consul for Pakistan in Bavaria Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis, while highlighting the purpose of German delegation’s visit to Pakistan, said, “We want to see the industries and economies of both countries to be as prosperous as possible that’s why we are here for cooperation and we are here for networking.”
While appreciating KCCI for hosting the delegation from Bavaria in Karachi which has arrived in Pakistan after a lapse of two decades, he urged the business communities of both sides to grab the chance, talk and network with each other and let’s go for a greater Pakistan.
In his welcome remarks, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda stated that Karachi, which is the economic and financial hub of Pakistan, offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for trade, investment and joint ventures to German business and industrial community.
He was of the opinion that with improved law and order situation and upon completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Port, this region is likely to attract substantial amount of foreign investment from different parts of the world whereas the German business community can also benefit from the situation by investing or undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi.
Junaid Makda mentioned that trade quantum between Pakistan and Germany has improved significantly in the last decade. During 2017, Pakistan exported commodities worth $1.87 billion to Germany as against exports of $1.68 billion in 2016, showing growth of 12%. The goods imported by Pakistan from Germany during 2017 stood at $1.36 billion as against the imports of $1.29 billion, showing an appreciation of 5%.
Referring to the success stories of BFZ’s Espire Project by Bavarian Employers Association which followed by another project under GIZ Asia Social and Labor Standards in Textile and Garment Sector, he underscored that such German programs have proved instrumental in the capacity building of industries and organizations in Pakistan. “We solicit that such collaborations and cooperation should be further strengthened”, he added.
Highlighting the potential to enhance bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Germany, he stressed that tourism industry of Pakistan can attract tourists by participating and presenting its tourism potential at ITB travel and trade show in Berlin held every year. “There is a substantial room available for Pakistani products like halal foodstuff, dairy products, textiles, cotton, which can be exported to Germany while Pakistani industries can greatly benefit from German technological advancements”, he added.
CAPTION: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Junaid Esmail Makda presenting crest to Leader of German Delegation and Senior Ministerial Consul from Bavarian State’s Ministry of Economic Affairs Mr. Ulrich Konstantin Rieger during the visit of German delegation to KCCI. Senior Vice President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid, Former Presidents KCCI Mian Abrar Ahmed, Majyd Aziz, Shamim Ahmed Shamsi and others are also seen in the picture.