ISLAMABAD: Germany announced a financial package of €109 million for Pakistan in order to develop economic ties between the two countries.
The Declaration of Intent, which was signed following a meeting between Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Gerd Muller on Thursday, promises €109 million to Pakistan in the next two years.
“Muller proffered the prospect of new funding for bilateral technical and financial cooperation,” said an official handout issued by the German Embassy in Islamabad.“The bilateral economic cooperation could reach a significant level of up to €109 million for the two-year period of 2017-2018.”
The declaration reiterates the three priority areas for cooperation which include governance, energy and sustainable economic development. Both sides renewed their intention to continue their successful cooperation in order to meet Pakistan’s socio-economic development challenges, in coherence with Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.
On the occasion, Dar appreciated the cooperation and support of the German government for various development projects in Pakistan, including the recent equity participation by KfW Development Bank in Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company.
“After having achieved macroeconomic stability in Pakistan, the present government is now focused on attaining higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” he said. “We are currently focused towards promotion of financial and digital inclusion in the country. This is evident from the IT Park project in Islamabad which is being implemented with loan assistance from the Korean Exim Bank.”
The finance minister emphasised that the country has a liberal investment regime and invited German companies to invest, particularly in the automotive and the solar photovoltaic sectors. “Companies should explore the possibility of benefitting from the opportunities available in investing in Special Economic Zones being established in Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muller appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices for addressing the challenges of terrorism and extremism, and the promotion of global peace. He also congratulated the Pakistan government on its steady reform progress.
“We are focused on continuing the development initiatives in Pakistan, which include providing with technical and research assistance for various projects, especially in the agriculture sector,” he said.
He extended an invitation to the finance minister to visit Germany and meet with various business leaders to promote investment and business opportunities in Pakistan.
The development cooperation between Pakistan and Germany goes back to 1961, with the funding volume till date totalling to about €3 billion. Pakistan was also one of Germany’s first partner countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2017.