Bilateral trade with Italy has grown at a substantial rate: Secretary Commerce


Italy: Secretary Commerce arrived in Italy on 23rd October, 2017 for a two day visit to undertake meetings with high officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy of Italy. During his stay in Italy, Secretary also met with officials of Italian Trade Agency and Confindustria. The purpose of the visit was to exchange views on matters pertaining to bilateral trade as well as to discuss upcoming review of GSP+ scheme by the European Parliament. Mr. Nadeem Riyaz, Ambassador of Pakistan in Italy, Ms. Saira Imdad Ali, Commercial Counsellor of Pakistan and Mr. Ahmed Fasih, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Commerce also accompanied Secretary Commerce in the meetings.
During the meetings Secretary Commerce informed the senior officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Italy had grown at a substantial rate in recent years. Both sides agreed that grant of duty free access to Pakistani products played crucial in stimulating an impressive growth in bilateral trade. Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Italy has increased from 906.96 million Euros in 2013 to 1.2 billion Euros in 2016. This represents an increase of 35%. Both sides agreed that bilateral trade could be enhanced beyond the existing levels.
Secretary Commerce informed the Italian officials that Government of Pakistan was committed to implement UN Conventions pertaining to human rights, labour rights, climate change, narcotics control and corruption. Secretary Commerce highlighted that the principles of ethical supply chains, sustainable development and good governance as enshrined in the international UN conventions were in consonance with the provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan. Secretary Commerce used this opportunity to highlight key legislative and administrative actions undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to comply with UN Conventions in recent years. These steps included establishment of an independent National Human Rights Commission of Pakistan which was playing an active role in expanding the HR regime in Pakistan. Secretary Commerce also highlighted some of the epoch making steps undertaken to tackle the menace of forced and child labour by the Federal and Provincial Governments.
During the meetings the Italian side showed considerable interest in learning about the investment opportunities in Pakistan in the fields of infrastructure, energy and Automobiles. Secretary Commerce explained that Italian business could benefit from opportunities available to foreign investors in Special Economic Zones and Export Processing Zones in Pakistan.
The Italian officials and their businesses were invited to participate in the upcoming event of EXPO PAKISTAN to be held in Karachi from 9th to 12th November, 2017 as a broad range of products will be put on display under one roof by entrepreneurs representing all sectors from all over Pakistan. Both sides decided to take concrete steps to make the upcoming meeting of Pakistan and Italy Joint Commission scheduled to take place in January, 2018 a success.