Italian envoy sees huge trade, investment opportunities in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: There are vast opportunities for mutual trade and investment between Pakistan and Italy from which the businessmen and traders of both the countries can reap the benefits, a diplomat said.
Speaking at a dinner, he hosted for senior business leaders and presidents of different chambers of the country at his residence, Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese said that Pakistani businessmen and traders move forward and work to promote mutual trade and economic ties with the Pakistanis in Italy.
The economic, trade and cultural relations between Italy and Pakistan are at an all-time high, he said Italy hosts the largest Pakistani diaspora in the European Union (EU) countries.
In FY 2020/21, workers’ remittances from Italy reached $601 million, which is an all-time high figure, he said, adding that it has made Italy, Pakistan’s 7th largest destination for Pakistani workers’ globally and No1 from the EU.
There was a huge trade potential in different sectors of the economy, which needed to be explored and, in this regard, both sides were engaged in the dialogue process through the Pakistan-Italy Joint Economic Commission.
The ambassador said currently Italy was providing technical assistance in agriculture and textiles upgradation through modern machinery, value addition in agriculture, leather and marble sectors.
Pakistan was working to expand it to agricultural items, including dairy and livestock, olives and olive products, plastics, processed food and the construction sector in the Italian market.
Ferrarese said that Italy wanted to start a new era of economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan through transfer of technology and for the upgradation of Pakistan’s textile industry.
The green economy, transfer of technology for the industrial sector, including textiles and agro industry, construction sector, education and health are major areas of focus to extend the bilateral cooperation, the ambassador said.
Through the green economy, Italy wanted to cooperate with Pakistan for environment protection, circular economy, resource saving and management, ecosystem protection and recovery, water conservation and natural disaster prevention.
Italy has established the Italy-Pakistan Textile Technology Center (IPTTC) in Faisalabad at the National Textile University (NTU) to upgrade the local textile sector, he said, adding that the training centre, which was the first-of-its-kind for Italian textile machinery technology in Pakistan, was inaugurated in the recent past.
This project was financed by the Italian government to support the development of the local textiles industry, by equipping it with the Italian machinery, the ambassador said.
During the fiscal year 2020/21, textiles, leather, rice, ethanol, textiles articles, sets, worn clothing, cotton, apparel, crocheted, cereals, raw hides and skins, beverages and footwear remained the major areas of exports from Pakistan to Italy, he said.
Pakistan’s imports from Italy increased in sectors such as ships, boats, and other floating structures, machinery, pharmaceutical products, aircraft, spacecraft, electrical, electronic equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel, miscellaneous chemical products, optical, photo, technical and medical apparatus.
Currently, Italy was providing technical assistance to Pakistan in textiles, leather and marble sectors, Ferrarese said, adding that dairy and livestock, olive and olive products, plastics, processed food and the construction sector were the areas where Italy could extend its cooperation.
The new economic mission has been deployed in Pakistan to further promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation in different potential areas, the ambassador said.
Initially, the new economic mission has been established in major cities of Pakistan, including Karachi and Islamabad and later it would be expanded to other potential trade hubs to increase the economic and trade integration between Pakistan and Italy, Ambassador Ferrarese said.
He underlined the importance of promoting cultural connectivity to promote bilateral trade, adding that he would also encourage exchange of students to further strengthen bilateral relations.
The senior diplomat said Italy was committed to extend the cooperation of a diverse potential sector to enhance the bilateral economic and cooperation between Pakistan and Italy.
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