ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Germany on Thursday signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with the aim to further strengthen development cooperation between the two countries.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation & Development Dr Gerd Muller signed the Joint Declaration of Intent. The declaration reiterates the three priority areas of Pakistan-German development cooperation, ie Governance, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, and indicates that the volume of bilateral development cooperation could reach up to €109 million for the two year period 2017-18.

Before signing the declaration, Dar and Muller discussed matters of mutual interest with particular focus on bilateral development cooperation between Pakistan and German. Dar highlighted the historic ties between Pakistan and Germany. He appreciated the cooperation and support of the German government for various development projects in Pakistan, including the recent equity participation by German development bank, KfW, in the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC).

Dar shared with the German minister that after having achieved macroeconomic stability in Pakistan, the government is now focused on attaining higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. He said that Pakistan is focused on the promotion of financial and digital inclusion in the country. In this regard, he highlighted the IT Park project in Islamabad that is being implemented with loan assistance from Korean Exim Bank.

Dar emphasized that Pakistan has a liberal investment regime and invited German companies to invest in Pakistan, particularly in the automotive and solar PV sectors. He suggested that German companies should explore the possibility of benefitting from the opportunities available in the Special Economic Zones being established in Pakistan.

The German minister acknowledged Pakistan’s economic success story over the last three and a half years. He appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices for addressing the challenges of terrorism and extremism, and the promotion of global peace. He said that Germany is focused on continuing its economic and development initiatives in Pakistan. He offered Germany’s technical and research assistance for development projects in Pakistan, including technical support in the agriculture sector to achieve higher yields.

The German minister invited Dar to visit Germany and meet with various German business leaders to promote the investment and business opportunities in Pakistan. At the end of the meeting, both the ministers reaffirmed the mutual commitment to further enhance and strengthen bilateral relations in existing and new areas.