Joint efforts can bring mutual trade to $ 5 billion: Italian Envoy
By Attaul Mujeeb Zeeshan
The Ambassador of Italy Andreas Ferrarese on Tuesday called on the President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mian Tariq Misbah. During the meeting, they have agreed to enhance mutual ties especially in areas of trade and economy.
LCCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan, Executive Committee Members Chaudhry Khadim Hussain and Shahid Nazir were also present on the occasion.
The Ambassador said that that Italy gives utmost importance to its relations with Pakistan and all out efforts would be made to boost the economic ties. He said the Italian government is committed to strengthening ties with Pakistan wherever it finds any opportunity for mutual collaborations.
He said that Italy has savings in excess of 5 Trillion Dollars so it has 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 is a potential for Pakistan and Italy to enhance the trade volume to 5 Billion Dollars. He further stated that there is a lot of potential in the sectors of Construction and Agriculture while the Tourism sector also holds great potential. He said that the long term visas of 3-5 years would be extended to the business community of Pakistan. This would help in enhancing B2B contacts and the trade relations.
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that Italy is an important trading partner of Pakistan in Europe which comes at 5th place among the top exporting destinations for Pakistan and for the first time it has 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 is indeed a healthy sign that both imports and exports are increasing with every passing year.
The LCCI President said that Pakistan exports to Italy stood at 810 million dollars in 2019 while the imports from Italy stood at 937 million dollars in 2019 which took the bilateral trade volume to the highest ever level of 1.74 billion dollars.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that 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, plastics, processed food, dairy & livestock, pharmaceuticals and environmental protection etc.
He said that Italy is 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 textiles industry by enhancing its technical capacity”, he said.
The LCCI President said that Pakistan has recently introduced the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy and Electric Vehicle Policy which provides 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 are being established which offer tremendous taxation incentives to the investors. If Italian companies take interest in these zones then Pakistan can become a lucrative destination for them.