Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Italian Ambassador in Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese has asked Pakistan to join hands to work together with a view to minimize losses and enhance productivity in post COVID-19 worldwide economic crunch.
In a meeting with APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood and Secretary General Khurram Niaz Khan, the newly-appointed Italian Ambassador said his country gives utmost importance to its relations with Pakistan and all out efforts would be made to boost the economic ties.
The APBF President welcomed the new ambassador, felicitating him with best wishes during his stay in Pakistan. Mutual cooperation, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Italy, holding joint webinars and technology transfer were the major issues which also came under discussion.
APBF president also invited the ambassador to visit Lahore and meet the business community and inaugurate a state of the art an Italian industrial plant here, which he accepted.
The Italian Ambassador admired the dynamic role of APBF towards creating an enabling environment for businesses to perform well and invest confidently in Pakistan. He also appreciated the APBF for supporting the diplomatic community in Pakistan, which is engaged in various efforts to strengthen international trade and harmony.
Both sides agreed to enhance mutual ties especially in areas of trade and economy. The APBF and the Italian Embassy reached an understanding to cooperate in key developmental areas like; promotion of mutual trade links, facilitation of closer understanding between the business communities of Italy and Pakistan, facilitation of B2B meetings and visits of business delegates, increasing educational ties and working in collaboration for social development.
Andreas Ferrarese informed the APBF leadership that Italy has affected worse due to COVID-19, as compared to the other countries but Italian government and nation remained committed to fight against the pandemic.
APBF President Mr. Syed Maaz Mahmood, on this occasion, expressed his gratitude to the Italian Ambassador and acknowledged the valuable collaboration of Italy in a wide range of programs including; trade, health, education, public diplomacy and development in Pakistan. He reiterated that APBF will continue to put its best efforts in establishing the most favorable business environment in Pakistan, and will identify and engage resourceful organizations and vital entrepreneurs to create and seize new opportunities for mutual development and growth. APBF President Mr. Syed Maaz Mahmood briefed him about the MoU signed back in 2016 between the Embassy of Italy in Pakistan with All Pakistan Business Forum aimed at establishing with a view to promote trade links through mutual collaboration in the areas of common interests.
APBF Secretary General Khurram Niaz, on this occasion, elaborated that APBF has arranged Italian Food Festival last year in Pakistan and the ambassador appreciated it and committed to enhance this cooperation in hospitality management and food technology.
The Ambassador said that several Italian companies were looking at Pakistan as a possible investment destination since Pakistan not only provided lower labour cost but also could be a hub for exports to a wide region extending from China in the east to Lebanon in the west and including entire central Asia.
The Ambassador discussed the potential areas of investment for the Italian businessmen like transport, agricultural machinery, frozen food, furniture making, marble industry, textile, leather and energy sector would be the main areas of our interest. The Italian envoy said that the Italian businessmen were closely following the Pakistani market and products and appreciated skills and talents of the people.