LAHORE: Former Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry board member Chaudhry Khadim Hussain on Monday said that collaboration between private sectors of Pakistan and Italy can be beneficial for both countries, as Pakistan would have the opportunity to learn from Italian expertise while Italy can avail huge untapped potential of Pakistan.
Khadim Hussain, who is also the chairman of the Sub-committee on Mines and Marble (Lahore Chapter) of Italian Development Committee of Pakistan expressed these views in a message to Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo, said LCCI spokesperson.
Khadim Hussain said that Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world and third in the Eurozone. The European country has been a relatively stable economy and it recently surpassed Brazil in economic size, Hussain said.
He said at present Pakistan struggling is to give a considerable boost to its exports, which can be possible by focusing on the non-traditional partners. Imposition of Regulatory Duty 731 import-items is not a solution to bring down the trade deficit, he remarked.
Hussain said that Italy has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates account for as much as 15 per cent of the GDP and these activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors.
Italy has moved slowly on implementing structural reforms, such as reducing graft, overhauling costly entitlement programmes, and increasing employment opportunities for young workers, particularly women, he observed.
“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, suggesting an 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.
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 the Pakistani market, marble, chemicals, dairy products, electronic equipment, machinery, automobiles can be imported from Italy, whereas Pakistan can avail competitive advantage in textile, surgical instruments, leather products, sports goods, some fruits, vegetables, rice, which can be exported to Italy on a larger scale,” he suggested.
He also lauded the efforts of Ambassador 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 these efforts will add a new chapter in the history of relations between Pakistan and Italy,” he concluded.