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BERLIN (Germany): Germany on Monday expressed intent to increase investment in Pakistan’s diverse sectors and boost trade relations.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at a joint press conference in Berlin agreed to strengthen bilateral ties with particular focus on increasing trade and investments.

The German foreign minister termed the visit of FM Qureshi a “good opportunity” for launch of new German initiatives and projects in Pakistan.

FM Heiko Maas expressed satisfaction over the interest of 35 German companies ready to make investment in Pakistan and said the encouraging trend would help “tap into immense potential”.

He mentioned a “constructive discussion” held with FM Qureshi on diverse matters and added that ‘Germany wanted to build up cooperation with Pakistan”.

Foreign Minister Qureshi welcomed the plans of new German investment in Pakistan and highlighted that the country’s shift in policy from geo-politics to geo-economics could turn out to be a "great opportunity for German companies".

He said the incentives announced by the Pakistan government for foreign investors would make the country a hub of regional trade.

FM Qureshi said Pakistan wanted to “deepen, broaden and transform” its economic relations with Germany.

He said Pakistan could benefit from Germany in technology transfer and the projects relating to supply and production of electric vehicles in line with the government’s policy of safe and green climate.

He lauded Germany's supportive role in helping Pakistan achieve the GSP Plus status in European Union and for not allowing the “politicizing of Financial Action Task Force (FATF)”.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s effort at the FATF forum by Germany is also commendable, he added. Qureshi expressed gratitude to Germany for supplying 50 million doses of COVID-19 by May and mentioned that Pakistan as a population of 220 million population would require more doses in future.

He said German Chancellor Angela Merkel did a great job in the development of Germany, adding that Prime Minister was keen to visit Germany.

FM Qureshi mentioned that his meeting with his German counterpart took up the ways to overcome delays in visa issuance. He said the positive role of Pakistani diaspora in Germany also came under discussion with an agreement to legally sort out the issue of immigrants.

On Afghanistan, he said Germany played an important role in stability in Afghanistan and vowed that Pakistan would remain in touch on the issue at every forum, may it be the Istanbul Peace Process or Doha forum.

On ties with India, he said Pakistan wanted to live in peace with all its neighbours including India.

“Pakistan believes in holding a meaningful dialogue with India, but the first step must be taken by India,” he stressed. “Pakistan will be receptive and forthcoming,” he stressed.

German Foreign Minister Maas on security situation in Afghanistan acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution towards restoration of peace in its neighbouring country and for hosting three million Afghan refugees.

He lauded “Pakistan’s active voice" for the peace process in Afghanistan at various platforms. On relationship between Pakistan and India, he termed the ceasefire agreement at the borders a “step in right direction”. The two foreign ministers earlier led delegation-level talks encompassing issues related to trade, energy, visa strategy and peace in Afghanistan.