Dr. Roberto Neccia, the deputy head of mission at the Italian Embassy, stated on Tuesday that Italy and Pakistan should aim to grow bilateral trade to at least €5–6 billion annually.
The ambassador emphasized that both nations have the potential to meet the trade goal while addressing the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
According to him, the current trade between Italy and Pakistan, which totals €1.5 billion, is far less than their combined potential for trade. Neccia emphasized the opening of a trade division in the Italian Embassy and expressed hope that it would strengthen the two countries’ relations. He noted that the Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce and Industry significantly impacted commerce, which inspired the creation of the Pakistan-Italy Chamber of Commerce and Industry to improve networking and business ties between the two nations’ private sectors.
“Close cooperation between SMEs of the two nations will assist share experiences and promote economic partnerships,” the envoy said, noting that Italy has 5 million family-owned SMEs.
He praised the Pakistani population in Italy and claimed that they may serve as a bridge between the two countries to strengthen trade ties. He gave Pakistan the assurance that Italy will assist the South Asian country in obtaining the extension of the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus concessions from the EU.
The ambassador recommended Pakistan send industry-specific trade delegations to Italy to look into untapped opportunities for collaboration. The Italian Embassy will help the Pakistani business community in whatever way it can to promote connections with Rome.
Speaking at the event, ICCI President Muhammad Shakeel Munir said Pakistan viewed Italy as a significant nation for trade and economic relations because the two countries had a lot of potential to work together.
He emphasized that Italy had cutting-edge equipment and technology, thus close cooperation was advantageous to Pakistan and could assist boost its economy.
“Pakistan has a lot of marble and granite reserves and import of the latest marble machinery from Italy can help us to produce value-added marble products while increasing their exports.”
Munir suggested that Pakistan and Italy could trade goods such as raw materials, textiles, surgical instruments, marble products, pharmaceuticals, leather products, sporting goods, and more. Pakistan could import industrial and agricultural machinery from Italy, while Italy could import many goods from Pakistan.
He emphasized that regular business delegation exchanges between the two nations should be encouraged in order to examine all potential routes for trade growth.