Pakistan-Italy bilateral trade should reach $ 5 billion annually: Ambassador Andreas Ferrarese
Islamabad: Italy’s Ambassador to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese has said that Pakistan-Italy bilateral trade should reach the full potential of $ 5 billion annually during next three years from current US $ 1.7 billion was one of the top priorities of his government.
He said that Italy wanted to start a new era economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan through transfer of technology and for upgradation of Pakistan’s textile industry.
Green economy, transfer of technology for industrial sector including textiles and agro industry, construction sector, education and health are major areas of focus to extend the bilateral cooperation, he said in an interview.
The ambassador said that through the green economy, Italy want to cooperate with Pakistan for environment protection, circular economy, resource saving and management, ecosystem protection and recovery, water conservation and natural disaster prevention.
Replying to a question, he said 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 the training centre, which is the first of its kind for Italian textile machinery technology in Pakistan, was inaugurated in recent past.
He said this project was financed by the Italian government to support the development of the local textiles industry, by equipping it with Italian machinery.
Replying to a question, he said that a new economic mission would also be deployed in Pakistan to enhance trade and economic connectivity, saying that there was huge trade potential in different sectors of economy which needed to be exploited.
He said that new economic mission would be established in Karachi and Islamabad.
He informed that Pakistan exports to Italy were US $.731million during fiscal year 2019-20 with textile, leather, rice, ethanol, textiles articles, sets, worn clothing, cotton, apparel, crocheted, cereals, raw hides and skins, beverages and footwear.
The ambassador said that during fiscal 2019-20,Pakistan’s imports from Italy stood at US $ 521 million which included ships, boats, and other floating structures, machinery, pharmaceutical product, aircraft, spacecraft, electrical, electronic equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel, miscellaneous chemical products, optical, photo, technical and medical apparatus.
The Italian envoy said currently, Italy was providing technical assistance to Pakistan in textiles, leather and marble sectors.
He said dairy and livestock, olive and olive products, plastics, processed food and construction sector were the areas where Italy could extend its cooperation with Pakistan.
He said Pak-Italy Joint Economic Commission was the forum for bilateral economic engagement and was expected to meet in Rome in the last quarter of this year.
He informed that out of its whole trade contribution to EU, Pakistan’s share with Italy was 10 percent which would be enhanced in future.
The ambassador informed that Italy has become the largest contributor from the EU to Pakistan in remittances.
He said that the construction for the new embassy building was completed and soon they would relocate there.
He underlined the importance of promoting cultural connectivity to promote bilateral trade. The envoy said that he would also encourage exchange of students to further strengthen bilateral relations.