Pakistan Economy 2013: Perspectives from Denmark

bakhtawariOne method of scrutinizing a country’s economy is how it is viewed by other nations.  When taking stock at the Pakistan economy 2013, the same rule applies.  Currently, Denmark actually wants to help the Pakistan economy since it will be able to benefit from any developments the Pakistan economy encounters too. Indeed, according to Denmark’s Ambassador, Jesper Moller Sorensen, officials in Denmark see tremendous “economic potential” in Pakistan.  Advancing its trade and economic relations is one way forward.

Sorensen recently discussed the matter with the business community. In his address to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Sorensen pointed out that he had developed a connection with the business community in an attempt to advance current trade between Denmark and Pakistan. Denmark has a lot to offer vis-à-vis wind energy and understands how much Pakistan needs energy for its industry and economy.  Thus Sorensen believes Denmark will be investing in Pakistan’s energy sector in the future, with many energy companies seeking to establish relationships with their Pakistani counterparts to reduce its energy problems.  Companies in Denmark have a lot to offer Pakistan, particularly in this area as well as: food processing; clean technology; health; education and others.

The ICCI’s President, Zafar Bakhtawari spoke along similar lines in his introductory address to the conference.  He said since Denmark is a wind energy leader and Pakistan requires sustainable energy, the former country can be of great help.  He advised private sectors in both regions to “develop close contacts to explore new avenues of improving trade relations.”  There is a similar situation vis-à-vis the strength of pharmaceutical companies in Denmark.

But the question is, what would Denmark get out of all of this potential collaboration between the two regions?  While it seems like a lot of help would be on the way for the Pakistan economy 2013, how can Denmark benefit?  Pakistan does boast high quality and cheap manpower and a very large consumers market.  With Denmark’s advanced technology in the areas discussed above, both countries should seek to develop closer collaboration in trade. Further, with Denmark aiding Pakistan, this would open the door for it to accessing exports in the South Asian region.

At the conference, Sorensen said that his government had given him permission to open a Commercial Section in Denmark Embassy for promoting trade and commercial relations between Denmark and Pakistan.

This news is most welcome given that the matter was discussed four months ago in Karachi.  Denmark’s Pakistan Ambassador, Ole E. Moesby, said that while relations between the two countries were “stable” and had “improved,” still greater work could be done.  And that is what is being encouraged today.

Denmark also needs to be aware however, that it is not Pakistan’s only source of power vis-à-vis its somewhat weak power supply.  The nation gets a lot of help from China too, being one of its largest business partners with 120+ Chinese companies conducting business there. During Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China, an economic agreement was signed between the two countries giving Pakistan foreign investment.  In 2012, the value of bilateral trade between China and Pakistan was $12bn and leaders of both countries have pledged to increase this figure in the future.

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