FAISALABAD. Serious efforts are being made to enhance Pak-Italy bilateral trade from 1.7 billion dollars to its full potential of 4 billion dollars, said His Excellency Mr. Andreas Ferrarese, Italian Ambassador in Pakistan.
He was addressing a meeting along with his spouse in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here today. He said that he was posted about 9 months ago when Corona was at its peak. Hence his activities remained stagnant and he has to wait for some time to fully understand the intricacies of the bilateral trade between the two countries.
He told that his predecessor Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo was a seasoned economist and he tried his best to enhance the overall volume of bilateral trade. The corona wasted our efforts and now he has to start afresh to give a quantum jump to the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Italy.
He said that he is fully aware of the economic importance of Faisalabad and hence he is visiting this city during his first leg of tour. He said that possibly he will spend 3 to 3.5 years in Pakistan and during this period he will try to bridge the gap between business communities of the two countries.
He underlined the importance of cultural linkages to promote trade and said that he will encourage exchange of students to further strengthen bilateral relations.
Appreciating the quality of Pakistani textile products, he said that Italy-Pakistan Textile Technology Center (IPTTC) has been established in National Textile University Faisalabad (NTUF) to give a new dimension to the Pakistani textile products so that these could compete in the international markets. He said that Italy could also provide new and state-of-the-art machinery to Pakistani industrialists which will also help them in technology transfer.
He also assured to encourage joint ventures and said that the global economic environment is expected to improve next year and both countries will be in a position to perform much better. He said that Italy had already learnt to ensure business relations through zoom and virtual meetings. “Pakistan has 42 to 57 percent internet users and they must exploit their ability to enhance their bilateral relations”, he added.
Earlier, Chaudhary Tallat Mehmood Senior Vice President (SVP) FCCI welcomed the Italian Ambassador and his wife and said that Pakistani exports were 907.38 million dollars while imports stood at 810.40 million in 2019. He said that corona badly hit the import and export, however, now the situation is gradually improving and we are expecting a positive trend in our bilateral trade.
SVP suggested that we must promote a catalogue exhibition through zoom and online meetings with stakeholders of two countries instead of organizing delegations for direct face to face meetings.
Madam Tehmina Pasha President Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FWCCI) also welcomed the Italian Ambassador while Mr. Kashif Zia, Dr Najma Afzal and Yasir Nawab took part in the question-answer session.
Later, Mr. Andreas Ferrarese along with his wife and SVP Mr. Tallat Mehmood cut a cake to mark the birthday of Chaudhary Rehmat Ali, the proposer of the name of the word “Pakistan”.
Ch Talat Mehmood also presented a memento of FCCI and gifts to Italian Ambassador while former Vice President FCCI Inaam Afzal Khan offered a vote of thanks.