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'Pakistan-German Chamber' being launched

Pak-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PGCCI) would be launched, what a German official said, within next one month to boost the present $2.2 billion bilateral trade between the two countries. Monday saw German Consulate here organising an award ceremony to honour Dr Ruth Pfau of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center (MALC), the German founder of National Leprosy Control Program in Pakistan.

"Very soon, say within a month. We are on the process," a German official told Business Recorder when asked when the long-awaited joint chamber is coming into being. The official, requesting anonymity for he was not authorised to talk to media on the issue, refrained from giving a specific date saying the launch wasn't "in our hands".

Also, German Consul General in Karachi Rainer Schmiedchen would not give "any timeline" for the establishment of PGCCI which he said once made would boost mutual trade and investment between the two trading partners. The volume of Pak-German trade, according to Ines Chabbi, chief operating officer of German Pakistan Trade and Investment (GPti), stands at $2.2 billion.

Consul Rainer said Pakistani trade had shown 20 percent growth in 2014 because of the European Union having assigned GSP Plus status to the country. "It has better exports to Europe," he said. Overall, the consul general said Pakistani market was "quite good" wherein the interest of international investors was growing.

During the ceremony, Dr Pfau was awarded Germany's prestigious Gold Staufer Medal on behalf of Chief Minister of German State Baden-Wurttemberg in recognition of her 55-year humanitarian healthcare services to the poor of Pakistan and Afghanistan. "It is largely due to her innovative medical approach as well as her systematic and efficient commitment to public health that leprosy has been almost eradicated in Pakistan," the consul general told the audience. Fluent in Urdu, Dr Pfau told reporters that she liked Pakistan so much that she never went back home. "I would not have done it without my team," said the aged lady, the winner of Hilal-i-Pakistan award.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015