Pakistan waiver to help textile sector boost share in EU market: Germany

Islamabad: Germany on Friday said European Union preferential trade deal can help Pakistani textile industry considerably increase its exports.

EU which imports around Euro 83.7 billion of textile products per annum will welcome increased share of Pakistan in its promising market. Textiles account for over 60 per cent of total Pakistani exports to EU. Energy situation will need to be improved for textile sector to get maximum benefit of Pakistan waiver, said Samy Saadi Trade Counsellor & Head of Economic Section, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany.

Talking to Samina Fazil, founder President, Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry IWCCI, he said energy situation has harmed Pakistan exports to Germany and led to decrease in 2011. German exports to Pakistan stood at $947 million and its imports from Pakistan stood at $1.2 billion. The total bilateral trade volume has been steadily on rise and still bears much potential, he added.

Mentioning efforts of Punjab government to strengthen its agricultural sector, he said Punjab is among world leaders in many agriculture sectors. Its progress in milk production is encouraging which is presently 3 times lower than many European states. Saadi said educating people related to agriculture can trigger development as current level of exports of fruits, dairy, vegetables are relatively low. However, there is a great potential if production is improved. He said efforts were underway to introduce Pakistani agricultural products in Germany with help of Metro.

He said Germany and EU import fish worth euro 15.5 billion euro. “We are open to restoring fish imports from Pakistan.” He said efforts were being made to improve the situation and hoped Pakistani exports would be resumed soon. Germany is eager to hike investment in Pakistan; “We are engaged in development cooperation focusing on energy, education, vocational training, health, governance and believe in more mutually beneficial commercial activity both ways.”

Samina Fazil called for enhanced support to Pakistani women entrepreneurs, frequent exchange of trade, cultural, economic delegations and help in generating clean energy and through Thar Coal. She thanked Germany for helping EU deal which according to industry experts can help Pakistani textile sector save $200 million in duties alone.

Pakistan requires up to $25 billion in infrastructure development that is good opportunity for German investors. Promising sectors are oil, gas, agro-industry, IT, textile, other machinery, mining, precious, semi-precious stones, franchising, consumer goods, environment technologies. Samina said Germany should support Pakistani women entrepreneurs to explore their market for economic revival agenda.

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