Islamabad, April 30, 2014 (PPI-OT): President Mamnoon Hussain has urged the need for transforming the existing Pakistan- German close bilateral equation into a broad-based, comprehensive and substantive partnership with focus on enhanced trade, investment and economic ties between the two countries.
The President said this during his meeting with Dr. Norbert lammert, President of the German Bundestag (Lower House of the Parliament) at the Presidency today.
Dr. Norbert lammert was accompanied by members of the German Parliament including Mr. Niels Annen, Ms. Marieluise Beck, Dr. Hans-Peter Uhl and Ambassador Dr. Michael Koch, Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador of Germany to Pakistan, Dr. Cyrill Nunn, was also present in the meeting.
From Pakistan side those present during the meeting included Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker National Assembly, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Convener Pakistan-Germany PFG and Mr. Karamat Hussain Niazi, Secretary, National Assembly.
Pak- Germany bilateral relations, enhancing mutual parliamentary cooperation and overall regional situation were discussed during the meeting.
The President welcomed Dr. Norbert lammert and the accompanying parliamentary delegation on their visit to Pakistan and said that Pakistan enjoys close and cordial relations with Germany and was keen to further enhance its ties with Germany both at the bilateral level as well as in context of the European Union (EU).
Underscoring the significance of parliamentary exchanges, the President expressed hope that the visit of German Parliamentary delegation led by Dr. Norbert lammert, would help further strengthen bilateral ties besides promoting Parliament to Parliament and people to people contacts between the two countries.
The President said that Parliamentarians from both the countries have important role to play in strengthening bilateral ties and urged the need for frequent exchange of bilateral parliamentary delegations. Pakistan has constituted a Pak-German Friendship Group in its Parliament and the establishment of similar separate Friendship Group for Pakistan in the German Parliament would help strengthen bilateral parliamentary cooperation, the President remarked.
On bilateral trade ties, the President expressed satisfaction on the current volume of bilateral trade i.e. $2.5 billion with the balance of trade in Pakistan’s favour and said that Germany is Pakistan’s fourth largest trading partner in the world and the largest in the European Union, adding that there still exist great potential to further boost bilateral trade.
The President said that Pakistan offered great opportunities in various fields especially energy, infrastructure and agriculture and German investors could benefit from the investment and business friendly policies and incentives offered by the Government for investment in these sectors. He said that up-gradation of the existing Pakistan-German Business Forum (PGBF) to a full Chamber of Commerce could help enhance trade and investment ties.
The President also appreciated the strong and consistent support of Germany to the grant of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status to Pakistan and said that rigorous steps are being taken to mobilize the business community of the country so as to take optimum advantage of the concessions offered by the EU to Pakistan.
The President on the occasion conveyed best wishes on his behalf and behalf of the people of Pakistan to the President of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck and the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
Dr. Norbert lammert, President of the German Bundestag thanked the President and government of Pakistan for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and the accompanying delegation and said that Germany highly values its ties with Pakistan and regards Pakistan as the country with great economic potential. He expressed hope that the frequent exchange of Parliamentary delegations between the two countries would provide new impetus to the existing strong equation between Pakistan and Germany.
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