The Italian Ambassador the Italian Chamber of Commerce is being setup in Pakistan to promote Pak-Italian trade and economic activities. The Ambassador said that a number of leading Italian oil and energy companies were operational in Pakistan and more would soon be putting their money in this part of the world. He said that Italy would like to cooperate in renewable energy especially the solar one as it had been cooperating with other countries in this field. He also underlined the need for frequent exchange of trade delegations for the promotion of bilateral trade and investment. He said that a big Italian trade delegation would soon visit Pakistan to have first hand knowledge about the available opportunities here.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar invited Italian investment in Energy sector in Pakistan that is one of the most lucrative sectors for foreign investors. Pakistan is in dire need of foreign investment in energy sector and it would earn rich dividends, the LCCI President informed the Ambassador.
The LCCI President said that Pakistan has the potential to export quality fashion garments to Italy particularly made of finest leather, sports goods and etc. Likewise Pakistan can sufficiently supply organic as well as inorganic fresh fruits and vegetables to Italy. Farooq Iftikhar said that both the sides needed to aim at doubling the figures of trade by 2015 with the help of concerted efforts from public and private sectors therefore Pakistan and Italy should work together to organize catalogue exhibitions, exchanging trade information and organizing trade delegations on reciprocal basis. The LCCI President said that Pakistan is mineral rich country and the reserves of precious & semi-precious stones are abundantly available which can be marketed in Italy.
The LCCI President said that Pakistan and Italy enjoy cordial and friendly relations and are steady trading partners while Italy is considered active investor in Pakistan and has provided sizeable financial assistance to social development projects in health, education and sanitation. Italy has also supported Pakistan bid for free trade agreement between Pakistan and European Union. It is because of such support that from January 2014, Pakistan will begin drawing the benefits of GSP plus status. Italy comes at third place both in terms of total volume of trade as well as major export market of Pakistan in EU. Germany and UK take the first and second positions whereas France has fourth position. The average bilateral trade between the two countries stood around US$ 1.2 billion (2009-2011) and is in favour of Pakistan from the last two years. In 2011, Pakistan’s exports to Italy accounted for almost 3.1% of our total exports standing at US$ 777 million. Pakistan exports comprise cotton, textiles and clothing, leather, footwear, rice and carpets etc.
Pakistan’s imports from Italy were US$ 512 million in 2011 that is almost 1.3% of our total imports. .
Pakistan imports machinery, boilers, technical & medical apparatus, pharmaceutical products, articles of iron & steel, electrical equipment, plastics and cereals etc. LCCI has established Dispute Resolution Centre in collaboration with International Finance Corporation for dealing with and resolving all sorts of disputes aroused among partner firms. The LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Tourism is another important area in which both countries can cooperate with each other for its promotion. He said that Pakistanis want to avail Italian expertise in tourism sector. The LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad said that by improving the frequency of interaction among the private sector representatives of both the countries, the desired results can be achieved in quicker time.