Germany eyes energy investments in Pakistan, says Merkel
BERLIN: Germany is looking to increase its investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, provided companies are reassured about the security situation, Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Merkel said Germany’s KfW state development bank was already involved in projects in Pakistan including hydro power plants, but added that the security situation was sometimes a deterrent.
“We can look at intensifying these (investments), as long as the conditions are right,” Merkel told a joint news conference with Sharif.
“It is important that the prime minister is successful in improving the security situation and the legal system so that investors feel safe,” said Merkel, adding that the agricultural sector also offered opportunities.
Sharif urged German firms to invest in his country.
“Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of energy,” he said.
“We believe in the next three years we should be able to have at least additional capacity of about 4-5,000 megawatts of electricity,” he said adding that would increase further in the longer term.
Sharif said German firms, some of them world leaders in renewable energy technology thanks to the country’s shift to green energy and away from nuclear power, were keen to invest.
Germany is Pakistan’s fourth-biggest trading partner, and the largest within the European Union, Sharif said.
Bilateral trade totalled about 1.9 billion euros last year with Pakistan selling mainly textiles, leather goods and basmati rice to Germany while Germany exports predominantly chemical products, machines and vehicles to Pakistan.