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KARACHI: The International Resource Centre at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi held a session with Danilo Giurdanella, the Consul General (CG) of Italy in Karachi. The talk was hosted by Dr S Akbar Zaidi, the Executive Director, IBA Karachi at the Main Campus.

The topic of discussion was ‘Pak-Italy Relations Through Diplomatic Lens’. During the session, the two explored possibilities of collaboration and exchange opportunities for students and faculty with Italian universities. Members of the IBA faculty, students, and staff attended the event.

Dr Zaidi opened the session by introducing Giurdanella and shed light on the increasing interest of IBA students in taking up Italian language as a foreign language at the Institute which shows the rising interest of students in applying to higher education institutes in Italy.

“We want close relationships with top tier universities of the world, and Italian universities have a very fast-growing market of Pakistani students,” he remarked.

Giurdanella commenced his talk by mentioning how Italy, like Pakistan has an ancient civilization, and both the countries have been a hub of various cultures living together. He highlighted the Islamic influence in southern Italy during the Middle Ages. He also appreciated the state-of-the-art campus facilities offered at the IBA.

Highlighting the importance of people-to-people interaction and how that helps in creating strong bilateral relationships and diplomatic ties, the Consul General talked about the large numbers of Pakistanis living in Italy. “Italy has the largest population of Pakistanis living within the European Union,” he stated.

Talking about the thriving economic relations, Giurdanella elaborated that the two countries have booming trade relations, with Pakistan having a positive trade balance with Italy. “$5 billion is our trade potential which is five times more than where our trade currently stands,” he said. He spoke about the need to tap the trade potential fully between the two countries.

The CG emphasised on the need for high level conferences in Pakistan so that the rest of the world gets to know the untapped potential that lies within the country. He also highlighted that, “Italy and Pakistan share very good cooperation at the United Nations. Both are members of the Uniting for Consensus,” he elaborated on the Coffee Club that developed in the 1990s, a movement that countered the bids for permanent seats proposed by the G4 nations.

Dr Zaidi concluded the talk by encouraging the IBA faculty and students to explore higher education options in Italy which has great institutions of higher learning.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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