LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum has pledged to work with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) Labour Standards Programme (LSP) for textile industry in Pakistan to strengthen sustainable economic development, Occupational Safety and Health through public-private partnerships, aimed at improvement in labour standards in the industry and overall high economic growth of the country. During a high-level meeting with the representatives of the Labour and Human Resource Department of Germany APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood appreciated the supportive role of GIZ LSP Textile Cluster and its commitment for the textile industry of Pakistan to become sustainable and more competitive at a time when it greatly suffers from challenges of energy security and high cost of doing business. The meeting was organized by the GIZ, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The GIZ had invited APBF to be part of this great initiative of GIZ LSP Textile Cluster for Pakistan textile industry to introduce the models of sustainable business development, including company visits and institutions that are still instrumental in the history of German economy to support enterprises, developing sustainable business models for themselves. The exposure to Pakistan business community also provided an opportunity to the APBF delegation to discuss the potential for joint efforts in developing models for sustainability-oriented public private partnerships for Pakistan’s context. APBF president, on this occasion, said that Pakistan has been benefiting from the GSP+ since 2014 and boosted its garment exports to the European Union market. He pointed out that various projects of the GIZ Textile Cluster have been supporting the private sector in Pakistan to boost productivity and exports while simultaneously increasing compliance with sustainability standards and through smart and professional way of working. He appreciated the efforts of GIZ Labor Standards Programme Project Manager Ms. Romina Kochius for her great work for the sustainable development of Pakistan. Ms. Romina Kochius, on this occasion, briefed the delegation and informed it that in Pakistan more than 25 companies of the textile and garment industry have successfully taken part in the project initiatives and considerably improved their business performance with the support of GIZ LSP Textile cluster, which was appreciated by the delegates. “A Dresden Declaration was also made in this regard that will help labour standards program to implement international standards in the business organization and GIZ LSP played a vital role in this declaration in June 2019,” she added. Maaz Mahmood further stated that Dresden Declaration will be a guiding document for moving forward to improve labor conditions in industrial sectors of the country and while taking a lead APBF and will support GIZ LSP in this initiative and help for Pakistan, APBF will play its important role to get it awareness to industries and get it implemented in textile and other sectors. He said the Declaration is aimed at forging collaboration between the government and private sector to adopt a pragmatic and action-oriented approach to promote occupation safety and health in Punjab and later on in the whole of Pakistan. He said the safety and health of industry workers would ensure sustainable development, thus increasing the country’s exports and improving the perception infant of international buyers and global brands that will attract buyers to import the products from Pakitsan. He said that the industry has now got a declaration at hand, which demonstrates our commitment to join forces and establish a culture of prevention for the benefit of workers, enterprises and the society, at large. He said GIZ’s Labor Standard Programme, through collaboration with the Labor and Human Resource Department, government of Punjab, Private Partner Organizations, the business community, academia, and civil society organizations, was providing technical expertise that would support to improve working conditions in the textile and garments industry and APBF will always support this professional and great working of GIZ LSP Textile cluster as it will add value to Pakistan in many ways.