Sweden Offers Greentech Solutions to Energy-Starved Pakistan
KARACHI, March 1, 2013: A number of energy-generating companies from the public and private sector of Sweden are willing to offer greentech solutions to the energy-starved Pakistan.

“I am overwhelmed by the great interest shown by the participants here in different Swedish energy-related technologies,” Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan Lars-Hjalmar Wide told reporters here at a seminar on “The Case for Swedish Greentech in Pakistan” Thursday.

Also addressed by Bashir Ali Mohammad, the honorary consul general of Sweden, Charlotte Kalin, CEO of Chamber Trade Sweden (CTS), Yawar Mian of Capital Business Sweden (CBS) and Jonas Rottorp of Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), the event was attended by a host of local businessmen related to the energy sector.

Terming the event as a first step in the right direction, the Swedish envoy said next step would be the arrival of Swedish businessmen in Pakistan to look for ways and means to jointly work with the local stakeholders in the energy sector.

“The core of this is to promote business-to-business cooperation,” Wide said adding such initiatives would certainly lead to a significant growth in bilateral trade between Sweden and Pakistan which stands in the former’s favor at 300 million euros.

Also, he said, his country was in contact with local stakeholders for the export of mangoes and other agricultural products. “This, however, would take some time to materialize,” the ambassador said.

“The European Union is working on a five-year engagement plan for Pakistan to engage the country on issues of mutual interest ranging from trade relations to joint counter terrorism efforts,” Wide said.

The 27-nation regional block, he said, would also send electoral observers to Pakistan to monitor transparency in forthcoming general election, due in mid-May, in the country.

Honorary Consul General of Sweden Bashir Ali Mohammad dubbed the Pak-Swedish future joint ventures as much helpful for Pakistan’s energy needs saying the Swedish had the required know-how and finances to share with Pakistan. “The ball now is in our court whether or not we avail this opportunity,” Mohammad said.

He said Pakistan, particularly Karachi, had a great potential for energy production using the Swedish greentech technology. “We have a big Slaughter House in Landhi (Karachi), cattle farms and a vast meat industry that provides a natural potential,” said the honorary consul general.

He said the Swedish side had completed their first round and would now as a second step come back on a weeklong visit to Pakistan to visit local industries to see how the waste can be capitalized on. In her address, Charlotte Kalin of CTS spoke about the new role of chambers of commerce and industries and business organizations to make trade and development sustainable between the nation states. She underlined various opportunities for promoting bilateral trade between the two countries and how CTS could facilitate Pakistani firms to find partners, customers and new markets in Sweden and Scandinavia.

Jonas Rottorp of Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) gave a presentation in which he talked at length about various case studies of key Swedish greentech expertise areas and the successful hi-tech ventures thereof and their benefit for other countries.

The issues the energy-expert covered included Cleaner Production Solutions for process, manufacturing, steel, pharmaceutical, oil and gas industries; solar energy, wastewater treatment, waste management and waste-to-energy, small-scale, off grid wind energy solutions and sustainable housing.

Yawar Mian of CBS told the audience how the energy-starved Pakistan could benefit from Swedish technologically-advanced experiences to bridge the ever-widening gap between supply and demand in the country.