OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - Ambassador of Germany Dr Michael Koch Wednesday said Germany, for being world leader in renewable energy, was ready to extend cooperation to Pakistan in bridging gap between demand and supply as it is at the moment passing through energy crisis. The German ambassador was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry here. LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad and Vice President Sohail Azhar also spoke on the occasion. The Ambassador said renewable energy sources could help protect Pakistan government against cost increases as has recently been experienced in case of crude oil. He said Pakistan could avail German expertise for renewable energy projects to overcome acute energy shortage. Talking about the trade between Pakistan and Germany, the Ambassador said that concerted efforts were being made to increase the two-way trade volume and in coming days the situation would take a positive turn. He said German market was open for investment in practically all industry sectors, and business activities were free from regulations which restrict day-to-day business. He said German laws make no distinction between Germans and foreign nationals regarding investment or the establishment of companies. Therefore, Pakistani businessmen could initiate joint ventures with their German counterparts, he added. Terming the vocational training as cornerstone of economic development of any country, the Ambassador said that Germany is and would continue to extend every possible help to Pakistan for strengthening of its human resource. He said that Pakistans agriculture sector has a very huge potential as Pakistani fruits are best in the world. Pakistan could earn much-needed foreign exchange by exporting its fruits to Germany, he added. The Ambassador emphasized the need for a rapid exchange of delegations and a frequent interaction among the business communities of the two countries to give considerable boost to foreign direct investment in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President said that continuous fall in bilateral trade is calling for appropriate sector-specific, result-oriented measures by both the countries as the existing volume of $1.9 billion has no match to the great potential of business the two countries have. Pakistans exports have come down from $ 880 million in 2008 to $ 719 million in 2009 whereas the similar trend has been noticed in imports from Germany which fell from $ 1.47 billion to $ 1.27 billion in the same period of time, he added. The LCCI President said that Pakistan offers a great potential for foreign investment adding it has a strategic location with abundant raw materials. Any investment made in Pakistan will automatically find its way to the regional countries which goes to the extent of Commonwealth of Independent States famously known as CIS countries, he said. We have never been as much in need for renewable energy sources as today, he added. Shahzad Malik said that Germany is meeting its energy needs with no trouble by using wind technology and solar electricity systems installed all across the country in addition to hydel resources. In this scenario, he said, Pakistan presents a huge scope for German investors to set up projects of producing alternate energy. He said that the other important sectors where German investors can benefit a lot are telecommunications, oil & gas exploration, food & food processing, cold chain system, agriculture tractors & machinery, dairy processing & equipment, engineering and services etc. Moreover, Pakistan largely produces the finest quality of rice, fruits, vegetable, leather goods, fish, textile products, readymade garments, bed linen etc and these products can find good markets in the member countries of European Union that surround Germany. Apart from trade and investment, the other area where Pakistan can benefit from German experience of economic growth is organizing international fairs and exhibitions as Germany has acquired the status of a world leader in this connection. Shahzad Ali Malik said that the LCCI appreciates that the German skill development infrastructures like GTZ has been quite active in passing on technical knowledge to the Pakistani industry in both formal and informal way. On the same pattern, LCCI wants to expand this cooperation in the field of Human Resource Development, he added.