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Pakistan’s exports to Italy could reach $5bn annually

August 09, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Officer Mian Kashif Ashfaq on Monday said that Pakistan’s exports to Italy could reach up to $5 billion annually with active participation of the private sector.

Talking to a delegation of exporters and importers led by honorary Investment Consular and Tourism Ambassador for Italy Muhammad Sheheryar Khan in Lahore, he said the exports to Italy and remittances to Pakistan have touched $2 billion, recording the highest ever annual growth.

He said Italy posted the highest growth both in workers remittances among all countries and for exporters among the top ten export destinations of Pakistan. “Phenomenal growth has been achieved at a time when European economies in general and Italian economy in particular is demonstrating downward trend, confronted with multiple challenges due to Russian-Ukraine conflict,” he added.

He said the value-added sectors were the main drivers of the exceptional export growth, with exports of plastic products increasing by 208 percent, sports goods 80 percent, leather 42 percent, home textile 36 percent, and garments 35 percent, which was possible due to the efforts and initiatives coupled with the hard work of Pakistani exporters.

Ashfaq said Italy has become the 3rd largest export destination for Pakistani footwear, 5th in home textiles, and 6th in garments exports. He said Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Andreas Ferrarese, was a key driving force behind further cementing trade relations between the countries.

With its unique geo-strategic location and improved security conditions, he further said that Pakistan offers excellent investment opportunities for Italian companies. With a population of around 220 million and a constantly growing demand for high-end products, Pakistan remains an attractive market for Italian manufacturers and businesspeople.

“Moreover, Italy is home to more than 150,000 Pakistanis, the largest Pakistani diaspora in Europe (after Brexit). Engaged in various production sectors in Italy, they continue to contribute to both countries'' economies.

Kashif Ashfaq said the Embassy of Italy in Islamabad was committed to boosting commercial ties between the two countries. Sheheryar Khan stressed the urgent need for both countries to explore all the possible avenues focusing on agriculture, machinery, textiles, and tourism.

He said with the revival of market activities after lifting of pandemic restrictions in Italy, Pakistan Ambassador Jauhar Saleem has geared activities to contact Pakistani businesses with Italian counterparts to sustain the exports and foreign direct investment growth.

He said during the last fiscal year, Italian companies invested in food processing, chemicals, construction, leather, footwear, energy equipment and IT which he hoped would increase with the passage of time.