Germany will facilitate Pakistan to take benefits from GSP Plus status and in this connection extensive vocational training programme would be launched to further improve the quality and quantity of export items of Pakistan, said German Ambassador Dr. Cyrill Nunn at Pakistan Textile Exporters Association.

Addressing the members of PTEA, Dr Cyrill Nunn said that GSP Plus status is an opportunity to Pakistan for improving its relations with the European Union in terms of not only trade but also economic and political relations. Pakistan would have a competitive edge in the EU markets and this facility will contribute to the reduction of poverty and promotion of sustainable development by giving a boost to the trading industry.

“Germany is one of the important trade partners of Pakistan and several German and EU based companies are interested to invest in Pakistan in different trade fields,” he said. He added that both the countries have potential to increase the trade volume and we must carve out ways and means to exploit the available potential.

He touched upon energy crisis and said that Germany is ready to help Pakistan overcome energy related issues. To minimise the energy wastage, a programme under GIZ funded by German Government has already been launched in Pakistan and there would be more big investments in Pakistan by different German companies in the coming months, particularly in energy sector, he said.

At Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Cyrill Nunn said that his country’s investors were keen to invest in Pakistan but the negative image portrayed by the international media is a cause of deterrent for foreign direct investment.

He said that ‘perceived image’ of Pakistan in the international arena needs to be improved. He said that a large number of Pakistani exporters participate in the ‘Heimtextile’ Trade Fair Germany every year and business community along with Pakistani Missions abroad can play an important role in promoting the soft image of Pakistan at international level.

Responding on the visa processing time, Samy Saadi, Head of Economic Section, Germany Embassy said that despite workload created due to GSP Plus visits, they take stipulated time of two weeks for processing the visa. However, in case of dire urgency, special preference can be assured for regular and frequent businessmen.

Earlier, in his welcome address, FCCI President Engr Suhail Bin Rashid said that Pakistan and Germany enjoy good friendly economic and bilateral relations, diplomatic ties, cultural and mutual cooperation in social,  higher education and economic development since 1950.

Germany being the largest economy in the EU, is one of Pakistan’s top trading partners. In fiscal year 2012, bilateral trade stood at US $ 2366.98 million in favour of Pakistan. Pakistan exported US $ 1260.95 million worth goods to Germany while imports stood at US $ 1106.03 million, he added.