- The ambassador said that there was a potential for Pakistan and Italy to enhance the trade volume to $5 billion.
LAHORE: Ambassador of Italy Andreas Ferrarese said on Tuesday that Pakistan and Italy could bring their bilateral trade level up to US$5 billion annually through joint efforts.
He expressed these views while addressing the business community here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) where both sides agreed to enhance mutual ties especially in areas of trade and economy.
LCCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Executive Committee Members Chaudhry Khadim Hussain and Shahid Nazir were also present.
The ambassador said that Italy gave utmost importance to its relations with Pakistan and all out efforts would be made to boost the economic ties. He said the Italian government was committed to strengthen trade relations with Pakistan wherever it found any opportunity for mutual collaborations.
Andreas Ferrarese said that Italy had savings in excess of US$5 trillion so it had a lot of fiscal space to undertake investment projects. He said that Pakistani investors should come forward and avail investment opportunities.
The ambassador said that there was a potential for Pakistan and Italy to enhance the trade volume to US5 billion.
He further stated that there was a lot of potential in the sectors of construction and agriculture while the tourism sector also had great potential. The long-term visas of 3-5 years would be extended to the business community of Pakistan, he assured and asserted that this would help in enhancing B2B ( business to business) contacts and the trade relations.
Earlier in his welcome address, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that Italy was an important trading partner of Pakistan in Europe which came at 5th place among the top exporting destinations for Pakistan and for the first time it had come at 1st place among the major supplying markets for Pakistan’s imports in European Union.
He said that keeping in view a consistent upward trend occurring in two-way trade, it was indeed a healthy sign that both imports and exports were increasing with every passing year.
The LCCI president said that Pakistan exports to Italy stood at US$810 million in 2019 while the imports from Italy stood at US$937 million in 2019 which took the bilateral trade volume to the highest ever level of US$1.74 billion.
Mian Tariq Misbah said, "Our exports to Italy are heavily concentrated in textiles, leather and rice etc. There is a tremendous potential for the two countries to enhance the economic and trade cooperation in the fields of construction, agriculture technology, plastic, processed food, dairy and livestock, pharmaceuticals and environment protection etc."
He said that Italy was extending technical assistance to Pakistan in textiles, leather and marble sectors. “We also appreciate the recent initiative by Italy of opening a Textile Machinery Training Centre in Pakistan which will support the development of local textile industry by enhancing its technical capacity," he said.
The LCCI president said that Pakistan had recently introduced the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy and Electric Vehicle Policy which provided a great platform for the investors of both countries to enter into joint ventures.
“We will certainly like to develop a close liaison with the Italian Trade Commission office in Pakistan in order to exchange important information related to trade queries,” he added.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that under CPEC, special economic zones were being established which offered tremendous taxation incentives to the investors. If Italian companies take interest in these zones then Pakistan could become a lucrative destination for them.