ISLAMABAD: Italian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Dr Roberto Neccia on Tuesday said that Italy and Pakistan should work to increase bilateral trade at least up to €5-6 billion per annum.
Speaking to business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the ambassador stressed that both countries had the potential to achieve the trade target.
Current trade of €1.5 billion between Italy and Pakistan was much lower and did not correspond to the actual trade potential of both countries, he said.
Neccia underlined that a trade section was being opened in the Italian Embassy and expressed optimism that it would give a boost to the bilateral ties.
The Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce and Industry contributed positively to trade and that prompted the idea of Pak-Italy Chamber of Commerce and Industry to strengthen networking and business linkages between private sectors of both countries, he pointed out.
“Italy has 5 million family-owned SMEs, so close cooperation between SMEs of the two countries will help share experiences and promote business relations,” the envoy said.
He lauded the contribution of Pakistani community in Italy, saying they could act as a bridge between the two sides for improving trade ties.
He assured Pak that Italy would support the South Asian nation for the renewal of EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus concessions.
The ambassador suggested that Pakistan should send sector-specific trade missions to Italy to explore the untapped areas of cooperation. Italian embassy will provide all possible facilitation to the Pakistani business community in promoting ties with Rome.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan considered Italy as an important country for trade and economic relations as both sides had good potential to cooperate in many areas.
He highlighted that Italy had advanced technology and machinery, therefore, close cooperation was beneficial to Pakistan and could help improve its economy.
“Pakistan has a lot of marble and granite reserves and import of the latest marble machinery from Italy can help us to produce value-added marble products while increasing their exports.”
Munir proposed that Pakistan could import industrial and agricultural machinery from Italy while It could import many products from Pak including raw material, textile, surgical instruments, marble products, pharmaceuticals, leather products, sports goods and many more.