Pak-Italy economic relations at all-time high

16 Pakistani companies from leather garments, sportswear sector to visit Italy next month

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s on exports to Italy, as well as workers remittances, continue to register record growth, it emerged on Thursday.

Talking to the media, Pakistan’s envoy to Italy Ambassador Jauhar Saleem said that Italy has emerged as Pakistan’s largest source of workers remittances from the European Union (EU) and the second largest in Europe after the United Kingdom (UK).

Jahaur applauded the 200,000 strong Pakistani diaspora in Italy, which he said has been contributing not only to the Italian economy, but has also been a source of pride and support for the mother country.

He noted that legalisation of thousands of undocumented Pakistani workers through Italian amnesty scheme, the inclusion of Pakistan in Italian Seasonal Work Visa Program, State Bank of Pakistan‘s (SBP) consumer-friendly financial products and programmes, as well as the Pakistan Embassy’s awareness campaign to promote formal channels of remittances have been the main factors driving the growth of the unprecedented remittance from Italy.

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The ambassador also shared that in view of the improved market conditions in Italy, the embassy is specially focusing on facilitating Pakistani businesses in marketing as well as match-making with other businesses.

Recalling his recent meetings with Italian government officials and businessmen, he stated that there was keen interest in Italy for expanding economic ties with Pakistan.

He mentioned that last month a 30-member Pakistani delegation from the leather sector had inked contracts worth €11.9 million with Italian companies whereas a delegation of 16 Pakistani companies from leather garments and sportswear will be visiting Italy next month.

“A substantial increase in business deals is expected as a result of the enhanced Pak-Italy B2B engagements,” he said.

Ambassador Saleem shared that Italian investors are also in negotiations with Pakistani companies for investment in energy and transport sectors of Pakistan.

“Italy suffered a massive GDP contraction of 9.6 per cent in 2020. However, GDP is expected to increase by 4.7pc in 2021 and by 4.4pc in 2022. As the Italian market recovers from pandemic related economic losses, Italian investors are regaining the confidence to resume expansion of international operations,” he added.

The ambassador also shared that the embassy is taking special initiatives to promote the flow of tourism between Pakistan and Italy. A team to film tourism-related documentaries on Pakistan for Italian National TV was sent to Pakistan in September 2021. Similarly, a team of Italian videographers and National Geographic`s photographers will visit Pakistan this month to promote tourism in Pakistan to Italians.

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