German Ambassador Ms Ina Lepel stressed the need for the promotion and strengthened trade ties between Pakistan and Germany. The ambassador also pledged all-out efforts for easy access of Sialkot exporters to European Union (EU) markets.

"Sialkot's exporters have enough potential and a unique culture.... with mutual efforts we will surely do away with all hurdles to ensure Pakistanis exports explore and capture the EU and German markets," Ms Ina Lepel told Sialkot exporters during her visit to some leading industrial units during her visit to Sialkot on Monday.

The visiting ambassador said that Germany is intending to boost mutual trade ties with Pakistan and special efforts are being made in this regard.

She informed that her country is trying to remove all hurdles to cement bilateral trade ties between Pakistan and Germany. "Pakistani exporters can make their way to EU through Germany and her country is ready to play its role as a gateway to promote Pakistan exports," she emphasised.

The German ambassador said that her country is also working actively to identify needs of the businessmen of both Pakistan and Germany through the effective role of Pak-German Business Forum.

Later, addressing an important meeting at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Ms Ina Lepel said that both Germany and Pakistan have been enjoying good friendly and cordial trade relations and it is time strengthen further these mutual trade ties. SCCI President Maj (r) Mansur Ahmed, SVP Muhammad Sarfraz Butt, VP Ehtesham Mazhar Gillani, Chairman Sialkot Dry Port Trust (SDPT) Khawar Anwar Khawaja, Dr Mariyam Nouman and representatives of the other main trade bodies were also present on the occasion. The Germany ambassador disclosed that exchange of trade delegations would begin in 2016. She said that GSP Plus status has helped Pakistan a lot to improve its trade and economy.

The German ambassador informed that several more Germany companies have shown interest to invest in Pakistan in different fields especially in energy sector. "Several Germany companies are ready to set up joint ventures with Sialkot business community in different trade fields and they will soon reach Sialkot for launching joint ventures," she revealed.

Ms Ina Lepel revealed that both Pakistan and Germany are enjoying friendly relations in all fields although Germany is the largest economy in Europe. "It has been a driver, innovator, and beneficiary of an ever more globalised economy and the interest shown by German companies especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors, is most encouraging and positive sign for Pakistan's economy," she explained. On this occasion, the Sialkot exporters emphasized that both the countries must further strengthen economic relations, through facilitation of governments and close coordination of private sectors.

SCCI President Maj (r) Mansur said that German market has big demand for the items produced in Sialkot. "There is a great potential for establishing joint ventures and business cooperation between German and Sialkot-based companies especially in the fields of Sports Goods, Surgical Instruments and Leather Products," he highlighted

The SCCI president said that there is huge scope for more quality products to be imported from Germany, "which we need to exploit optimally through mutual cooperation."

He revealed that both Pakistan and Germany have always enjoyed cordial relations based on mutual trust and confidence in each other's expertise. "Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Germany is stable and volume of trade between the two countries is over $2.2 billion," he informed.

He lauded the relations between the SCCI and the German Embassy have always been close and cordial.

Maj (r) Mansur revealed that Sialkot-made footballs, field hockey sticks, cricket gear, and boxing gloves are used in international games including the Olympics and World Cups. Most of the developed countries are importing surgical instruments from Sialkot. In leather products and textile sportswear, we excel in quality and style. Similar is the case with other items produced in Sialkot. He hoped this meeting would result in promoting better understanding between the business communities of the two friendly countries and pave the way for enhancing trade and economic ties.