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Denmark, Pakistan have huge potential in energy, agri: Danish envoy




  • Danish Ambassador in Islamabad Jesper M Sorensen said on Saturday his country was keen to exploit the business potential in Pakistan for bolstering trade between the two countries and Danish Pakistanis could play a pivotal role in that regard.
    Briefing journalists at his residence here over the weekend, he said it was for the first time that Denmark had set up a commercial section in Islamabad, dedicated to explore avenues of investment for Danish companies, which saw Pakistan a new market though they had some concerns. 
    There are 2500 Danish of Pakistani origin living across Denmark, who have contacts back home and can be very helpful in promoting trade between the two sides, he said.
    Pakistan at the moment is exporting about $169 million of goods, mainly textiles, besides providing Information Technology services to Denmark while Danish exports to Pakistan are worth $224 million, comprising special machinery, chemicals and pharmaceuticals items.
    “We want higher trade between the two countries. Our exports to Pakistan are reasonable and Denmark is exporting more to Pakistan than India that shows there is a great potential,” said the envoy.
    He said he visited Denmark last month and spent a whole week trying to explain to Danish businessmen that there was a huge potential to do business with Pakistan, particularly in field of agriculture and energy.
    Denmark has expertise in both these fields as agricultural goods formed 23 per cent of its total exports last year. Denmark was able to produce 54 per cent of its total power consumption through renewable energy in 2013, which was an impressive performance as it used to be energy-dependent country. 
    Denmark leadership has declared to turn the country as fossil free nation by 2050.
    “Danish companies are global leaders in green energy and energy efficiency. In these areas, Denmark has something to offer Pakistan, which is facing a serious energy challenge. We have started a dialogue with Danish businesses about these opportunities in Pakistan,” said Sorensen.
    Pakistan at the moment was facing crippling power crisis and Danish companies could help it generate electricity through wind power by investing in Sindh Corridor, which according to a recent survey, had a potential of producing 55000MW power. The initial investment in the renewable energy is expensive but with the development of technology, it would become cheaper, said the ambassador. 
    For instance the running cost of solar panels has come down and some Danish companies have started installing solar panels in some private houses in Pakistan, though at a limited scale, he added.
    Pakistan, being an agriculture country needs to use its water resources more efficiently and can learn a lot from Danish companies. Similarly it is the 5th biggest producer of milk in the world, but only 4 per cent of it is processed so there is a huge potential of cooperation between the two countries in the field. Similarly there is a scope of installing solar-run water pumps in Pakistan, he said.
    The envoy said he was working on bilateral visits of businessmen delegations from both the countries for establishing their contacts to explore possibilities of cooperation in joint projects for their mutual benefit.
    Danish Counsellor Peter, in his brief remarks, said his country had introduced “the Red Carpet programme”, which was meant to make Danish visa more easily accessible for businessmen, who wanted to have frequent trips. The restriction of personal presence and appointment with Gerry Visa Service have been abolished, besides reducing time of issuance of visa to two weeks. It has been decided that frequent visitors to Denmark can have multiple visa valid up to five years, said Peter. 
    Commercial Counsellor Aslam Pervaiz on the occasion said the embassy was helping Danish companies do business in Pakistan. It was helping them find business partners and the information in the field of their interest. Many Danish companies have shown interest to explore avenues of cooperation with Pakistan.

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