Pakistan, Italy private sectors’ collaboration stressed

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Collaboration between private sectors of Pakistan and Italy can be equally beneficial for the both countries, as Pakistan would have the opportunity to learn from Italian expertise while Italy can avail huge untapped potential of Pakistan.

Sub-committee on Mines and Marble (Lahore Chapter) of Italian Development Committee of Pakistan’s Chairperson Chaudhry Khadim Hussain expressed these views in a message to Italian Ambassador in Pakistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, according to spokesman of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here Sunday.

Chaudhry Khadim Hussain, who is also former LCCI board member, said that Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world and 3rd in Eurozone, and it has been a relatively stable economy, and it recently surpassed in economic size by Brazil, an emerging giant over three times bigger in population and 28 times larger in geographic area.

At present, he added, Pakistan struggling to give a considerable boost to its exports, which can be passible by focusing also on the non-traditional partners, adding that imposition of Regulatory Duty 731 import-items is not a solution to bring down trade deficit.

Khadim Hussain said that Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 15 per cent of GDP, and these activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors. Italy, he added, has moved slowly on implementing structural reforms, such as reducing graft, overhauling costly entitlement programmes, and increasing employment opportunities for young workers, particularly women.

“Historical economic stability allows Italy today to rank as one of the highest economies in terms of net wealth per capita and per household, confirmed by its low level of private debt and average financial liabilities,” he maintained.

Pakistan needed to maintain strong relations with Italy, he said and suggested active engagement of the businessmen and diplomatic mission of the two countries, frequent exchange of economic and trade delegations to identify the areas of mutual interest and joint trade shows to achieve the required goals.

Keeping in view the market potential of the two countries a lot of progress could be made on trade front through boosting up the existing trade and identification of new tradable items between the two countries.

“To cater to the requirements of Pakistani market, marble, chemicals, dairy products, electronic equipments, machinery, automobiles can be exported by Italy, whereas Pakistan has a competitive advantage in textile, surgical instruments, leather products, sports goods, some fruits & vegetables, rice etc., which can be exported to Italy on a larger scale,” he suggested.

He also lauded the efforts of Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo and Pakistani Ambassador to Italy Nadeem Riaz, who are leaving no stone unturned to boost trade and economic ties between the two countries. “Their passion and sincere efforts are already giving good results and I hope that efforts of these personalities would add a new chapter in the history of relations between Pakistan and Italy,” he concluded.