Italy wants to strength trade ties with Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: The business environment in Pakistan is much better now and Italy wants to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations with Pakistan to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, a diplomat said.
Addressing the business community during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese said that the 21st Century is the century of Asia and Italy wants to develop closer cooperation with Pakistan and help it improve the competitiveness of its economy.
He termed the lack of awareness in the Italian business community about Pakistan a problem for trade promotion; however, he said that efforts are being made to bring the Italian trade commissioner from Dubai to Pakistan that would help address the issues and improve bilateral trade between the two countries.
Pakistan should focus on value addition of its products and Italy can help it with its advanced technology in various fields, including marble and tourism.
Ferrarese said that the Italian Embassy is considering giving long-term business visas to prominent Pakistani businessmen on the recommendation of the Pakistani chambers of commerce and industry.
He congratulated the ICCI president Muhammad Shakeel Munir and his team of new office-bearers and expressed good wishes for them.
Munir said that the bilateral trade of less than $2 billion between Pakistan and Italy is not reflective of their true potential and urged both countries to focus on developing strong business linkages between their private sectors to increase bilateral trade volume.
Italy has advanced technology and its technological cooperation with Pakistan in textiles, construction, marble, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, processed food, dairy, livestock and other sectors would enable Pakistan to upgrade its industrial capacity and produce value-added products for exports promotion, he added.
Pakistan has huge reserves of marble and granite and the Italian technology would help it produce value-added marble products and boost their exports.
Munir also said that Pakistan is keen to promote its tourism sector and Italy’s cooperation in this field would help it develop a modern tourism infrastructure.
Pakistan provides easy access to the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia and by investing in Pakistan, the Italian companies can promote exports to many regional markets, he added.
Pakistan is establishing many Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, which offer great incentives to foreign investors, he said, adding that the Italian companies should explore joint ventures and investment in these SEZs.
He assured that ICCI would like to work closely with the Italian Embassy to explore new avenues of enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.
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