Germany is keen to invest in tourism in Sabah and promote the state to its citizens.
German Ambassador to Malaysia Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff said Sabah has a lot to offer in terms of nature, which German tourists enjoy, but noted their arrival to the state had yet to reach a desired figure.
"I'd like to help change that. I've been a tourist myself before coming to Malaysia. My wife and I visited Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan because they are such interesting places.
"I'm explaining this to my German fellow citizens. There is a big German tourist company coming soon and I'd like them to come to Sabah. German tourists love nature and there's hardly a place on earth that has so much interesting nature to offer like Sabah, " he said.
Lambsdorff was speaking to reporters after paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at his office here today.
Noting that tourism was one of the topics he had discussed with Shafie, he said most German investment in Malaysia would either focus on Penang or the Klang Valley.
"But I'd like to see whether it's possible to find more people coming to Kota Kinabalu. This remains to be seen.
"I believe Sabah is making efforts not only to develop its tourism industry but to look at how people can travel to the state capital. Kota Kinabalu airport is growing and maybe we can see more direct connections (in future).
"Until recently there was not a single direct flight from Germany to Malaysia. Now, there are flights five times a week from Frankfurt and this will help bring tourists to Sabah," he said.
During the courtesy call, Lambsdorff also discussed plantation and politics with the Sabah chief minister.
He said there was a rather sizeable German investment in plantation in the state, adding he had visited it a few months ago.
"I wanted to know what's the state of affairs and explain to the Chief Minister how this plantation works because it's a rather unique public-private partnership, which does planting of trees as well as protect the rainforest, something that is dear to many German's heart.
"Of course, I also wanted to know about the political situation in Sabah and Sabah's view on politics in Malaysia," he said.