Ital­ian com­pa­nies ex­plore Pak­istan as ma­jor in­vest­ment op­tion

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Ital­ian Am­bas­sador to Pak­istan Ste­fano Pon­tecorvo has said that a large num­ber of renowned Ital­ian com­pa­nies were presently ex­plor­ing Pak­istan as an in­vest­ment op­tion be­cause the coun­try has am­ple sup­ply of cheap labour, hav­ing po­ten­tial to be a re­gional hub for ex­ports.

He was ad­dress­ing the mem­bers of All Pak­istan Busi­ness Fo­rum on Fri­day at a lo­cal ho­tel along with Ital­ian As­so­ci­a­tion of For­eign Trade (AICE) Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mr. David Doninotti and sev­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Ital­ian com­pa­nies.

The meet­ing was ar­ranged by the APBF, aimed at pro­mot­ing trade re­la­tions be­tween Italy and Pak­istan by con­duct­ing by B2B meet­ings and match mak­ing in var­i­ous sec­tors."Pak­istan pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant trade links in­clud­ing to China and cen­tral Asian re­gion."

Ste­fano Pon­tecorvo ob­served that sev­eral Ital­ian com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Fiat, are view­ing Pak­istan as the next pos­si­ble in­vest­ment desti­na­tion. Italy's Fiat made a brief foray in the 1990s, but failed to gain a foothold be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis forced it to exit. He in­formed the APBF mem­bers that del­e­ga­tion of Ital­ian busi­ness­men had vis­ited all ma­jor in­dus­trial cities of Pak­istan to es­tab­lish con­tacts with the busi­ness com­mu­nity."Ital­ian busi­ness­men closely fol­low the Pak­istani mar­ket and prod­ucts and ap­pre­ci­ated the skills and tal­ents avail­able in the coun­try."

He said that the Em­bassy of Italy in Pak­istan has al­ready signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) with All Pak­istan Busi­ness Fo­rum to pro­mote trade links. He ap­pre­ci­ated the APBF for pro­mo­tion of Pak-Italy's mu­tual trade links, fa­cil­i­ta­tion of closer un­der­stand­ing be­tween the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties of the two coun­tries and fa­cil­i­ta­tion of B2B meet­ings and vis­its of busi­ness del­e­gates.

The en­voy said that Italy was hold­ing Pak­istan Trade and In­vest­ment Fo­rum in Rome in April, 2016 to pro­mote bi­lat­eral trade. APBF Pres­i­dent Ibrahim Qureshi would lead a 16-mem­ber busi­ness del­e­ga­tion where he would meet Ital­ian Min­is­ter for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, of­fi­cials from govern­ment agen­cies, Ital­ian lead­ing com­pa­nies, and Ital­ian for­eign trade agen­cies. Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi said that the fo­cus of the sem­i­nar would be on en­ergy, in­fra­struc­ture, au­to­mo­biles, agro food, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, mar­ble, stones and tex­tiles etc, he added.

He said that the cur­rent trade be­tween the two coun­tries is around $300 mil­lion while For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment from Italy is around $200 mil­lion which needs to be en­hanced, he added. Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi ap­pre­ci­ated Mr. Ste­fano's plans for im­prov­ing eco­nomic and busi­ness ties be­tween the two coun­tries.

He as­sured the en­voy that APBF would con­tinue to pro­vide full fa­cil­i­ta­tion to Ital­ian busi­ness­men in­ter­ested in in­vest­ing in Pak­istan."We want to di­ver­sify our ex­ports and want to find new part­ners for do­ing busi­ness. I be­lieve that Pak­istan re­ally has a lot of po­ten­tial to pro­mote it­self and Italy is one coun­try which pro­vides ex­cel­lent busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties," said Ibrahim Qureshi.

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