Nawaz meets Merkel

BERLIN: The meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was held here on Tuesday.

During the meeting the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest.

Prior to the meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was presented a guard of honour by the German Army.

The prime minister was greeted by Angela Merkel upon his arrival at the Chancellor House. During Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s welcome the national anthems of both nations were played. The prime minister introduced the German Chancellor to the Pakistani delegation which is traveling with him to Germany.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited German entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan and participate in its privatization process, assuring it will be transparent and strictly in accordance with the international best practices.

“Pakistan is one of the most investor friendly countries in the world. We allow 100pc foreign ownership with no limit on repatriation of profits dividends or other funds in the currency of the country of origin,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the Investment Forum here.

He said Pakistan would like to expand FDI (foreign direct investment) in energy, infrastructure, development, food, pharmaceutical, chemicals, engineering, agriculture and agro based industry mining and oil and gas exploration.

The Prime Minister said: “Energy sector is our highest priority and our biggest concern. Unless we overcome the problem of power shortages swiftly and effectively there can be no meaningful development in the country.”

He said Pakistan was focusing on improving the efficiency of existing power plants addressing problems of power generation and distribution.

At the same time we have embarked on a massive programme of power generation from all available sources including hydel, coal, solar and wind, he added.

Nawaz Sharif said he believed that entrepreneurship would lead to Pakistan’s economic prosperity. Our government therefore accords high importance to facilitating private sector enterprises to expand business in Pakistan.

“Today we have competitive, thriving and growing private markets in the banking and telecommunication sectors,” he added.

The Prime Minister said his government had an ambitious privatization programme which aimed to shift the role of public sector to regulation from management.

“I invite you all to participate in the privatization process which will be transparent and strictly in accordance with international best practices,” he added.

He said investment by small and medium entrepreneurs from Germany would not only increase Pakistan’s quantum of trade but would also be beneficial to both countries. “We eagerly look forward to renewed German investment in Pakistan,” he added.

The Prime Minister said Board of Investment had apprised of huge investment opportunities that were available in Pakistan with extremely attractive rates of return.

“I am sure that you will explore some of these areas for investment,” he added.

Nawaz Sharif said: “I welcome you all to contribute towards tomorrow’s Pakistan. I wish to assure you that the government will extend full support to your initiatives. Transparency and merit are hallmarks of my government. We will ensure that you face no barriers in establishing business in Pakistan,” he maintained.