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Pakistan’s energy crisis and environmental challenges could be overcome in a step-by-step manner by using Swedish Green Technologies: speakers

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Lahore, February 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s energy crisis and environmental challenges could be overcome in a step-by-step manner by using Swedish Green Technologies, speakers said at a seminar held here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on the Swedish Greentech experience and expertise and how Pakistan could benefit from them in the short, medium and the long-term.

LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan Lars-Hjlmar Wide, CEO Chamber Trade Sweden Ms Charlotte Kalin, Swedish Environment expert Jonas Rottorp, Provincial Secretary Energy Jehanzeb Khan, LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, CEO Punjab Board of Investment and Trade Javed Akbar Bhatti, Yawar Mian from Capital Business Sweden were among the speakers.

Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan Lars-Hjalmar Wide said the proactive pursuit and practice of stringent environmental policies in Sweden have encouraged research and development in water purification, sanitation, sewage and wastewater treatment, waste management and waste-to-energy, production of bio-fuels, as well as generation of renewable energy from wind, biomass and solar power. Research data shows that Sweden is the first country in Europe to meet the renewable energy targets, set by the European Union (EU) for 2020, eight years ahead of schedule. Renewable energy accounted for 49.6 per cent of total energy used in Sweden at the end of 2012.

The EU target calls for renewable energy making up for 49 per cent of the total energy used in member countries in 2020, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 20 per cent and ensuring 10 per cent use of biofuels in total auto fuel consumption. “Sweden’s successful experience and knowledge of implementing green technologies could be used by Pakistan to develop a sustainable civic and industrial infrastructure and realise rapid economic growth.

There is a strong correlation between economic growth and reduction in waste, greenhouse gases, making optimum use of natural and human resources, and the production and conservation of energy to meet the environmental and human development challenges in a changing world,” said the Ambassador.

LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said the business community in Lahore and the surrounding areas, as well as across Pakistan, is keen on acquiring economical and reliable alternative energy solutions to sustain their operations and Sweden has a wide range of green technologies for power generation, biogas and biofuels production, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and enhancing productivity and production in a sustainable and environment friendly manner.

“We have a diverse range of manufacturing and production industries across many sectors that could use Swedish green technologies and set up distribution and manufacturing joint ventures with Swedish companies.

Pakistan has a big consumer market with a young population and an ideal environment for adapting green technologies using local renewable fuels. LCCI would like to see progressive partnerships between its member businesses and Swedish companies,” Iftikhar said. Charlotte Kalin, Chief Executive of Chamber Trade Sweden (CTS) said transparency, sustainability and responsibility in trade and business ventures are the three major characteristics being sought by Swedish companies when looking for resellers and partners.

“We see many opportunities for enhancing trade and joint ventures between Pakistan and Sweden, and Swedish green technologies could play a positive role in realising sustainable socio-economic growth in compliance with global labour, human, child and womens’ rights regulations and environmental standards,” said Kalin. Kalin said aside from promoting exports of Swedish products, services and expertise, CTS is also responsible for facilitating sustainable imports of quality products from devel0ping countries to promote the development of small industries that create job opportunities, gender equality, and avenues for the social and economic empowerment of women. Agribusiness, food processing, lifestyle products and textiles, leather and sports goods and other products from Pakistan could capture a larger share of the Swedish and Scandinavian market through better compliance with the principles and practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability.

A delegation of Swedish greentech companies is scheduled to visit Lahore in or after the summer to explore development of projects in sectors that are of interest to Pakistani companies. Secretary Energy Punjab Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan said a comprehensive energy plan is being prepared and will be implemented in the coming months and years to maximise the use of renewable energy in Punjab.

Sweden could certainly play a major role in introducing, promoting and implementing environment friendly projects that are efficient, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase productivity. “Swedish companies could provide green technologies for creating clusters of small, medium and large-scale projects to ensure sustainable supplies of energy by diversifying the use of renewable fuels,” Khan said. Chief Executive Punjab Board for Investment and Trade (PBIT) Javed Akbar Bhatti said Punjab offers lucrative opportunities for joint ventures and investments in green technologies that could create thousands of new jobs and small businesses in Punjab’s existing and upcoming economic zones.

“PBIT has done extensive groundwork on project opportunities ranging from waste management and waste-to-energy, dairy, agriculture and food processing, as well as power generation plants using renewable sources such as solar energy, biomass and waste-fired boilers, and small-scale wind energy,” Bhatti said. Yawar Mian, Chief Executive of Capital Business Sweden and Founder of CSR Pakistan said there is an abundance of waste, biomass, slaughterhouse waste, sewage, sunlight throughout the year, good wind conditions and small and large-scale hydropower potential in Pakistan.

By using Swedish green technologies, Pakistani governments and companies could overcome many development challenges including the energy crisis and protecting the environment. “Many green technology projects could be implemented through the CSR programmes of national and multinational companies, especially water purification, water recycling, waste management and recycling, and the production of solar energy and biogas,” Mian said. Jonas Rottorp, Expert from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) said Pakistan seems to have all the necessary resources to generate more energy than it requires. Waste management and waste-to-energy, as well as production of biogas and biofuels could be a major industry providing clean renewable fuels as alternates for gasoline, diesel, LPG and compressed natural gas (CNG).

“The agricultural diversity of Pakistan provides many natural resources and raw materials to set up high value added smart industries to produce innovative globally user friendly products. There is definitely a big economic opportunity here that we would like to see becoming a reality,” Rottorp said.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854


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