KARACHI: Showing interest in meeting one of the biggest demands of investors, the Sindh government has agreed to provide land for an exclusive industrial zone for German companies.
“We have land available and we are ready to discuss it further with relevant people,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while speaking at the first annual meeting of the German-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GPCCI) organised at the German Consulate, Karachi.
Shah said that the provincial government is trying to develop coal and all other resources to produce energy. He, however, said Germany and Pakistan can further cooperate in producing renewable energy, which is also necessary along with the traditional fossil fuels.
Sindh is fast developing Thar coal reserves while it is already producing about 70% of total gas production of the country. Moreover, it is fast attracting private investments in its Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor, which has been identified by the federal government as the most lucrative site for wind power plants in Pakistan.
Shah invited German companies to further increase their investments in the province and said that they will get all the support from the provincial government.
Speaking on the importance of education and training, German Ambassador to Pakistan Martin Kobler said that Pakistan has to create job opportunities for its youth that are entering the job market in the millions every year.
Kobler, who took charge just four months ago, said that Pakistan needs to prepare for its pressing demands in education, energy, climate etc, mainly because of its growing population.
“Renewable energy is the sector where Pakistan can grow fast,” said the ambassador. He said that Germany is also investing in renewable energy along with other energy sources since the devastating results of Fukushima nuclear accident.
In March 2011, an earthquake hit Japan that badly damaged nuclear installations in Fukushima, forcing many countries to reduce their dependence on nuclear energy due to dangerous risks associated with this cheap source of energy.
Earlier in his speech, GPCCI President Qazi Sajid Ali urged the Sindh CM to provide land where only German companies can set up factories.
“What we are witnessing is a real desire in German companies to come here,” said Ali. “I am sure a large number of German companies are ready to start manufacturing in Pakistan.”
Since the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in April 2015, a renewed interest is seen in foreign investors who want to invest in the country. Improvement in macroeconomic indicators of Pakistan has also generated some interest in investors.
However, some companies and even diplomats have shown displeasure in private as they believe Pakistani authorities are favouring Chinese investors. Ali assured that GPCCI is making all-out efforts to bring German companies to Pakistan.
“Our objective is to bring German knowledge, innovation and technology to Pakistan,” he stressed.
GPCCI has formed expert groups in textiles, pharmaceutical, auto etc. to analyse specific requirements of Pakistani and German companies increase bilateral trade between the two countries. He also said that Pakistan can use German technology in agriculture sector, especially in water management, reservation, use of fertilizers etc. to increase its annual output.
Also speaking on the occasion, German Consul General in Karachi Rainer Schmiedchen said that Germany recognises the needs of Pakistan in vocational training and will train 18,000 Pakistanis before 2021.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2017.