Youth, education to be at the forefront of future Pakistan-Germany cooperation: Martin Kobler

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ISLAMABAD: Martin Kobler, the new German Ambassador to Pakistan, said that youth and education would be at the forefront of future Pakistan-Germany cooperation, as over 60 per cent young and talented Pakistanis are the future of a vibrant and thriving Pakistan.

The ambassador expressed these views while addressing an unprecedented huge gathering at a reception held to mark the 27th anniversary of Germany’s reunification.

Diplomats, politicians, journalists, servicemen and aid workers had gathered at the residence of Ambassador Kobler to partake in the festivity on completion of 27 years of Germany’s reunification. On the occasion, a band performed Pakistan’s national anthem. Various German multinational firms, NGOs and aid organisations had also set up stalls.

During his speech, the ambassador surprised the audience with his fluent Urdu, triggering a loud cheer.

“I wish to promote an educated and skilled youth in Pakistan since well-trained and educated youth can prove to be the engine of growth for Pakistan. The private sector can play a leading role in this regard,” said the envoy, adding that he had a strong desire to see Pakistan-Germany relations gain in strength in the near future.

“Pakistan will have 400 million inhabitants in the year 2050, meaning thereby that it would have 200 million people under the age of 30 by then. Everyone should therefore work to give this young workforce a perspective of development and growth. Private entrepreneurship and private sector companies can play a leading role in this regard,” Martin Kobler said.

He said that his objective was to enable the private sector to work on innovative and creative ideas for the economic development of Pakistan.

“I am very happy to see the office-bearers of the German Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry here. Can there be a full-fledged chamber of commerce network across the country with support from Germany? We are also looking at the possibilities of resumption of Lufthansa (airlines) flights in Pakistan and of Pakistani flights starting operations in Germany,” he said. The envoy said that it was important to focus on building positive narratives about the development in Pakistan’s economic, political and cultural fields.

Parvez Malik, the official representative of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was unable to attend the reception, said that Pakistan and Germany shared a traditional, strong and long-term friendship.

“There is a great potential in Pakistan-Germany cooperation in terms of trade, defence, investment, science and technology. Pakistan deeply appreciates German support for the awarding of GSP Plus status to Pakistan.  Our government seeks Germany’s support in achieving its goals of economic development, sustainable growth and good governance,” he added.

He further said that the benefits of trade will be shared among all Pakistanis without discrimination of caste, creed, religion or ethnicity. “There is a need to increase bilateral cooperation in all areas, and the ambassador has made a wonderful start in the past three weeks by boosting the Pakistan-Germany partnership,” he concluded.