Islamabad, June 08, 2013 (PPI-OT): German Foreign Minister H. E. Dr Guldo Westerwelle, at the head of a six member delegation, called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House this afternoon.
During the meeting, he discussed with the Prime Minister bilateral relations as well as the prevailing regional situation.
The German foreign minister conveyed his best wishes as well as on behalf of German Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan regards Germany as a close friend and as Prime minister it would be his endeavour to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that Pakistan would benefit from the technological advancement and economic development of Germany.
Dilating on the acute power shortage in the country, the Prime Minister said his government is working on a plan to overcome load shedding. The Prime Minister invited the German investors to exploit this opportunity by investing in Pakistan’s power sector.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan welcomes that German investors set up thermal power plants which can be run on coal and gas and offered to facilitate the setting up of their plants near coal mines in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the German investors should visit Pakistan to see for themselves the business climate and opportunities that Pakistan has to offer.
The German foreign minister informed the Prime Minister that the German government was keen to send a German business delegation to Pakistan and the German Ambassador in Pakistan would be facilitating the visit of this delegation comprising 60 German businessmen which would be visiting Pakistan shortly.
Dr. Westerwelle proposed that joint investment conference be held in Pakistan in which German and Pakistani investors should participate and share their knowledge and explore the prospects of investment in Pakistan.
Germany, Dr. Westerwelle said, considered Pakistan as a country with great economic potential. The German foreign minister also proposed that the bilateral Chamber of Commerce presently functioning in Karachi be reactivated and upgraded to give further impetus to economic ties between the two countries.
The German foreign minister also assured Germany’s continued support for Pakistan’s efforts to get GSP Plus status in the European Union.
The Prime Minister thanked Mr. westerwelle for the initiatives taken by Germany for deepening of Pak-German relations. “There is a positive sentiment in the Pakistani business community which looks towards my government for good economic policies and encouraging the business sector”, observed the Prime Minister.
Recalling his previous tenures as Prime Minister, he listed privatization of banks and major industries in the public sector which restored confidence in the business community. As a result of economic reforms carried out by his government in the 1990s, the growth rate of Pakistan had reached 7%.
The Prime Minister said, “We have a tough situation at hand but we have team and the determination to turn around the economy”.
German foreign minister apprized the Prime Minister that he was coming from Kabul where he had meetings with President Karazai. He conveyed the good wishes of Mr. Karazai and sought assessment of the regional situation.
The Prime Minister said President Karazai had telephoned to congratulate him on his assumption of the office of the Prime Minister and also extended invitation to him to visit Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister said that he had had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Karazai as leader of the opposition during the last few years.
The Prime Minister said that we wanted to expand cooperation with Afghanistan and support the Afghan nation.
The Prime Minister said that there had to be a multi-pronged policy to tackle the situation in Afghanistan.
Drone attacks, the Prime Minister said, are violating our sovereignty as well as international laws. Drone attacks must stop, he emphasized. We have protested many a time. This is simply unacceptable.
Pakistan is ready to facilitate the withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan and hopes that Afghan army and security forces would be able to manage the situation after the withdrawal of coalition troops from the country.
The meeting was also attended by Mr. Ishaq Dar, federal Minister for Finance, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatimi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and senior officials.
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