A 12 member delegation of leading exporters and importers are looking to promote trade links through mutual collaboration in areas of common interests between Pakistan and Italy through business-to-business (B2B) meetings. Headed by Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq, the delegation will have country presentation followed by B2B meetings at Associazione Italiana d’Ingegneria Economica (AICE) in Milan and Cassa Padana Brescia.
The frequency of visits between the two countries has witnessed rise in the recent years which is indicative of further deepening of the ties between the two countries. Prior to leaving for Italy, Mian Kashif Ashfaq told reporters here that Pakistan and Italy had good relationship in a variety of fields and it was now time to further strengthen it. He said they would meet the Italian minister for economic development, officials of government agencies, leading companies and foreign trade agencies to explore new avenues mutual co-operation in trade and commerce. He said Italy is the fourth largest investor in Pakistan following China, UAE and Hong Kong with a total investment valuing at USD 100 million along with bilateral trade worth one billion Euros. To a question, he said, “Our focus is on energy, infrastructure, automobiles, agro food, pharmaceuticals, marble, stones, furniture and textiles. Pakistan’s main items of export are cotton fabrics, woven made-up articles of textile materials, articles of apparel, chemicals, leather products and cotton yarn.
Major items of import from Italy include machinery and its parts, cereals and cereals preparations, medical and pharmaceutical products and wheat, adding : “We want to diversify our exports and find new partners for doing business”. He believed that Pakistan had a lot of potential to promote itself for Italian business community while Italy was a country that provided excellent business opportunities for them. He said Italy had expertise in the manufacturing of state-of-the-art textile machinery, solar panels, food processing, renewable energy, infrastructure development and agriculture and various Italian companies were exploring opportunities to undertake joint ventures with Pakistani entrepreneurs.
Italy possess countless opportunities for expanding companies and there were many key factors that attract Pakistani investors to invest in Italy and few of them had around 60 million demanding and sophisticated consumers, a favorable geographical position in the Center of the Mediterranean Sea, facilities and support for foreign companies.
Mian Kashif emphasized the need for technology transfer to Pakistan as Italy had special expertise in the fields of engineering, alternative energy, agri products, livestock, dairy, processed food, leather, textile, marble etc. “Italian technology could help us to upgrade our textile sector and utilize its untapped capacity,” he added.