LAHORE - A high level German delegation led by Parliamentary State Secretary for Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development Thomas Silberhorn met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on Thursday.

Matters of mutual interest, bilateral issues and promotion of cooperation in different sectors were discussed on the occasion. It was also agreed in the meeting to further promote cooperation in energy and skills development sectors.

Talking to German delegation, the chief minister said that there are long standing friendly relations between Pakistan and Germany and Germany is important trade partner of Pakistan. However, he said that there is need for taking further steps for promoting economic cooperation between the two countries.

He said that Germany has played an important role in granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan which has increased textile and garments export for the country.

Referring to unprecedented sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism, the chief minister said that besides energy crisis, Pakistan is also facing the challenge of terrorism and extremism.

He said that officers and jawans of Pak army and police, common citizens, besides people of all walks of life have rendered supreme sacrifices in the war against terrorism and more than 50,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives in this war. He said that Pak army is achieving glorious successes in operation Zar-e-Azab.

He said that the political and military leadership as well as the whole nation is untied to root out the menace of terrorism. He said that it is also a fact that besides the use of force, social and economic measures are also essential for elimination of terrorism and extremism and therefore, youth are being empowered in Punjab for checking the trends of terrorism and extremism.

He said that a solid strategy has been evolved for imparting various skills to lakhs of youth annually while under skills development programme, thousands of youth have been made skillful in accordance with the market needs. He said that Germany can extend cooperation in the promotion of vocational education for the youth.

Referring to energy projects, the chief minister said that Punjab government completed a solar project with its own resources at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur in a record period and it has started supply of electricity.

He said that services of German consultants have been acquired for this project. Parliamentary State Secretary for Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development Thomas Silberhorn said that cooperation with Punjab will be promoted in technical and vocational training sector.

German Ambassador in Pakistan Ms Ina Lepel, President German Pakistan Forum Dr Saeed Chaudhary, senior authorities of Economic Cooperation and Development, officers of German Embassy, Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Chairman Planning & Development, Chairman Punjab Investment Board Abdul Basit, Secretary Energy and concerned officers were present on the occasion.