News Analysis |
The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel made contact with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to congratulate him over his victory in the recent elections. She discussed the avenues both countries could work together in and invited Prime Minister Imran Khan for a state visit whenever he deems suitable.
PM Khan reciprocated the same enthusiasm for the long-term collaboration and strengthening of ties between both the countries. He added that Germany was the largest trading partner of Pakistan in Europe and there was substantial potential for cooperation in spheres of energy and automobile sectors and investment in hydroelectric power generation.
Europe can serve as a feasible market for the Pakistani food and textiles along with the export year-round export of footballs which is at the heart of Europe.
Pakistan has always had historic relations with Germany since its inception. Since Pakistan was unofficially part of western bloc during the cold war, there were cordial relations between West Germany and Pakistan in particular. The economic relations between both the countries go way back to the 60s decade when Germany even adopted Pakistan’s development model stating it to be “an example of successful development policy in the developing country.”
Germany is still Pakistan’s 4th largest trading partner making it the first destination for Pakistan’s policymakers to reach out to Europe. The situation Pakistan’s economy is in right now, it needs to adjust the balance of trade by increasing the exports to the world markets, particularly to the favorable one such as Europe.
Though Pakistan’s ruling democratic elite has raised the slogan of “Aid Not Trade” since the transition of power from the dictatorship of President Musharraf to the Democracy of PPP, nothing concrete has been done in this regard. In fact, recently Pakistan was placed on the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on the charges of providing safe havens to the terrorists.
It is believed that if no solid lobbying effort is done, it could further damage Pakistan’s already fragile economy. Europe can serve as a feasible market for the Pakistani food and textiles along with the export year-round export of footballs which is at the heart of Europe. Similarly, countries like Germany and France have ample investment opportunities in the fossil extraction, automobile and power generation.
The one-sided bombardment of narrative against Pakistan from western media has influenced the public opinion negatively against the country, that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from non-Arab countries is almost negligible.
Europe is gradually moving toward green energy where renewable sources such as wind and sun, are now broadly been used to fulfill the energy demand. Due to its diverse topography, Pakistan has a vast scope in the production of Green energy propelled by European expertise and equity investment. It will help generate revenue and jobs in both countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s global reputation as a sports personality and a philanthropist could be witnessed by the way global leaders have hailed the regime change in Pakistan. From Canada’s Justin Trudeau to France’s Emmanuel Macron and now Germany, everyone wants to work with Pakistan in the domains of mutual interest.
Though the global shift in the power paradigm because of Donald Trump’s aggressive attitude towards Europe may also have influenced the European states to flex their wings finding new markets, it can certainly be used as a plus for the country if the PTI government manages to play it right.
There is a desperate need of an active diplomacy and presentation of Pakistan’s good image worldwide. The one-sided bombardment of narrative against Pakistan from western media has influenced the public opinion negatively against the country, that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from non-Arab countries is almost negligible.
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The situation has been exploited by Pakistan’s arch-rival India which uses the moment to frequently hoist “Free Balochistan” banners across streets and buses in Europe. Pakistan needs to engage the European states, particularly Germany and France who have the capacity to steer the direction of the entire continent and who have a say on the international front and as of now, the opportunity is ripe for the picking.