Pakistan is one of the three countries which have a trade surplus with Germany. The EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus has provided more opportunities to increase export, said the German Ambassador Cyrill Nunn at a seminar on Tuesday.
The public talk by the ambassador titled ‘Pakistan-German Relations’ was organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).
Pakistan has been requested to follow the 27 conventions of GSP Plus because it will be reviewed by the end of 2016, he said.
Dr Nunn, who has been in Pakistan since 2012, said that although formal diplomatic relations between the two countries first developed in 1951, German companies have been operating in this region much earlier.
A German company, Siemens, has had its office in Karachi since 1871.
The two countries have also enjoyed strong cultural ties. Pakistan’s national poet Allama Iqbal also studied in Germany. A large number of Pakistani students study in Germany. Parliamentarians from the two countries routinely visit each other and we also have a history of military cooperation.
The ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s decision of not intervening in the Yemen crisis and said Pakistan should concentrate on internal issues such as security and energy. He said that the German government supports Pakistan’s efforts to fight militants on its soil.
Concentrating on matters of internal security and resolving the energy crisis will bring foreign investment to Pakistan, he added.
Dr Nunn said that German companies are market oriented and they will come to Pakistan if a stable environment is offered to them.
He discussed the attack on the Army Public School and expressed his shock and grief at the incident.
We need a strong and stable Pakistan. We also need Afghanistan to be stable for there to peace in the region. We have no intention of disengaging from Afghanistan, he said.
He also discussed the troubles within the Euro zone and said that all European Union member countries are committed to not let the EU split.
Our aim is to make sure that EU continues to deliver. All members of EU apart from Greece want one currency. Greece has decided to hold referendum but we have been suggesting to the Greek that they should stay in the EU in their own best interest, he said.
Environment, he said, is a big concern for the German nation.
German’s have forced their government to stop producing nuclear energy, he said.
Now we are focusing on hydroelectric power, wind and solar energy, he said.
In response to a question asked by retired Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, Dr Nunn said that today five to six per cent of the German population is Muslim and a majority of them are German citizens.
In response to another question, he said that Pakistanis must promote a positive image of their country.
I work day and night to promote Germany, he said.
ISSI Director General Masood Khan, who moderated the lecture, said the two countries enjoy very good relations.
German auto industry is doing well and has provided alternative choices to people. We need to work to project positive image of Pakistan in Germany. We hope that Germany will play role in success of Pak-China economic corridor, he said.
ISSI Chairman Khalid Mehmood said that investment by Germany in Pakistan is declining so the officials of the two countries should sit down together to consider the situation.
There are 80,000 Pakistanis in Germany and they play important role in improving relations between two countries, he said.