A delegation of Pakistani companies visited Sweden from 24-29 November to explore opportunities for partnerships and joint ventures for transfer of Swedish greentech and renewable energy expertise and solutions to Pakistan.
The delegation included companies from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), the Karachi-based Gul Ahmed Group, which is one of the largest exporters of home textiles to Sweden, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and visited the Swedish Institute of Environmental Research (IVL), and a number of waste management, waste-to-energy, biogas production, and solar power and water purification companies in Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg and Lund.
“We are keen on adapting, promoting and facilitating the use of green technologies and renewable energy solutions to meet the rising energy and power needs of our industries, factories, housing communities and businesses. Sweden has unique solutions and we see many opportunities for setting up waste-to-energy, biogas, biofuels, and solar power projects in Pakistan,” said Abdul Basit, executive member of LCCI and chief executive of Big Feed poultry, which supplies 60 per cent of Pakistan’s 1.5 billion annual poultry production.
Sweden ranks first among the world’s 10 greenest economies in 2014 and more than 50 per cent of its energy needs – 216TWh consumed in 2013 – are met through renewable sources such as wind, water, biogas and district power and heating produced from biomass, household and municipal waste. Waste management and waste-to-energy have achieved the highest level of efficiency in Sweden and the country now imports waste to turn it into district heating and power for municipalities and cities that are connected through regional and the national heat and power distribution networks.
During its five-day visit, the delegation met Helena Sangeland, deputy director general and head of Department for Asia & the Pacific at the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan, Tomas Rosander, who was visiting Stockholm for the annual bilateral meeting between Sweden and Pakistan. Ambassador Rosander sees big potential for increasing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sweden, which now stands at $335 million, through closer cooperation in the greentech, industrial, healthcare and life sciences and textile sectors.
The delegation’s visit was organised by Chamber Trade Sweden (CTS) and coordinated by Capital Business Sweden in cooperation with the Swedish Embassy in Pakistan with the support of the Swedish Foreign Ministry. CTS and the Swedish Embassy in Pakistan held three fact-finding seminars in Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot in early 2013 to introduce Swedish green technologies and renewable energy solutions to Pakistan.
“We learnt a lot about how Swedish green technologies could be used to overcome the energy and water challenges in Pakistan during our visits to innovative companies. We would like to have close cooperation with Swedish companies and a regular exchange of visits and dialogue. With a population of 190 million, Pakistan is a big and expanding market that is hungry for energy and renewable technologies,” said Salahuddin Rahman, technical director at Gulf Ahmed Textile Mills, one of the largest textiles producers and exporters in Pakistan.
Swedish solutions for detecting cancer growth at an early stage, screening cervical cancer and improving reproductive health are currently being introduced in Pakistan. Sweden could also become a hub for Pakistani textiles and fashion industry in Scandinavia. Initial work has begun to plan a Pakistan Fashion Week in Sweden in 2015.
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