Pakistan and Germany have reiterated their commitment
to further enhance their existing friendly and close relation in all
spheres particularly in the field of trade and economy. This was stated
by the German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister, Mr. Josethka Fisher
and Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri while addressing a
joint press conference in Islamabad on the conclusion of 3-day visits of
German delegation to Pakistan.
Appreciating Pakistan's economic reform agenda and
the overall improvement in Pakistan's economy, Mr. Fisher disclosed that
soon a delegation of German businessmen and investors will visit
Pakistan to find new avenues for boosting trade and economic cooperation
between the 2 countries. Possibilities of investment through joint
ventures will also be examined in detail, he added. The Foreign Minister
also called on the President, General Pervez Musharraf, the Prime
Minister, Ch. Shaujaat Hussain and the Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.
The German Foreign Minister said, he had very
friendly and open talks with the Pakistani leaders on all bilateral,
regional and international issues. He said, Germany enjoys very friendly
and long term relations with Pakistan and intends to work for further
deepening and improvement of these ties. He appreciated Pakistan's role
in war against terrorism.
He said, Germany appreciates Pak-India dialogue
process and fully supports Lahore and Islamabad process to restore peace
and stability in the region. He said, the resolution of all disputes
including Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan will pave way a
long-term peace and stability not only in the region but also in the
world. He expressed the hope that Pak-India dialogue will not only
continue in future but will be further expedited and Germany fully
supports this process.
To a question, he said Germany gives special
importance to its trade and economic relations with Pakistan and fully
favours reduction in tariff barriers in the EU to increase trade with
Pakistan. He said, a German businessman delegation will shortly visit
Pakistan to further boost bilateral trade relations. To a question, the
German Foreign Minister said Germany has always raised vice against
human rights violations everywhere in the world and he also raised the
issue of human rights abuse in the Indian held Kashmir with the India
leadership during his recent visit to New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the Pakistan Foreign
Minister, Mr. Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri expressed the confidence that the
visit of German Vice Chancellor will give new impetus to Pak-German
relations in all fields particularly in trade and economy. He said, we
discussed at length all matters of bilateral interest and regional and
international issues in a very friendly atmosphere. He said, Pak-German
relations will continue to further grow with the passage of time. He
said, he has held fruitful talks with the German counterpart on
terrorism, Afghanistan trade relations and other important issues
including Pak-India dialogue and SAARC. The Foreign Minister said
Pakistan has vital interest in Afghanistan and intends a stable
government which can make the country prosperous and progressive. He
said, Pakistan is already playing important role in the reconstruction
of Afghanistan and has provided one hundred million dollars in this
regard. He said Pakistan enjoys cordial relations with Afghanistan and
making sincere efforts at all levels to further improve these ties.
Welcoming the German Foreign Minister, the President
said Pakistan wishes to strengthen Pak-German cooperation in diverse
fields. He expressed the hope that the German Foreign Minister's visit
would be fruitful and productive.
German Foreign Minister also called on Prime Minister
Shaujaat Hussain and discussed bilateral and trade relations between two
countries. The Prime Minister briefed the German Foreign Minister about
regional situation and Pakistan's role in the region.
While briefing Mr. Fisher on the state of Pakistan's
economy the Prime Minister said their was a great potential for
investment in different sectors in the country. The government, he said
has created enabling environment for investment and a number of
incentives and concession are being provided to foreign investors. With
the opening of Gwadar Port the Central Asian market will be available to
the manufacturers who would have enterprise in Pakistan.
Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz while talking to a
delegation of German parliamentarians and businessmen said the economic
reforms introduced by the government, incentives offered for investment,
transparency and openness in government's policies, improving
infrastructure, availability of human capital coupled with continuity
and consistency of policies and political stability achieved but
Pakistan has made it an attractive place for investment. Pakistan has
witnessed an enhanced level of foreign direct inflows of around $ 1
billion last year.
The Minister briefed the delegation about the
economic reforms and fiscal policies introduced by the government which
resulted in a turn around of the economy, enable Pakistan to get out of
the debt trade and improved its macro economic indicators. From a point
where we did not have the money to pay out one billion Pakistan, today
has foreign exchange reserves of US $ 12.5 billion, said the Minister.
Elaborating government policy to act as facilitator and enabler to drive
the private sector a investment potential in Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz said
government be provided a level playing field too. He particularly
mentioned availability of human capital, cheap and skilled labour,
abundance of national resources, tax and banking forms, a world class