Italian Embassy Celebrated Its National Day in Islamabad

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo hosted an excellent dinner to celebrate his county’s national day here in serena Hotel Islamabad.  Federal Minister for Inter-Professional Coordination Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Governor Punjab Rafiq Rajwana  were  the chief guest of the ceremony. Traditionally National day’s ceremonies started with the national anthems of the Pakistan and host country. Before starting the cutting a cake ceremony national anthems of Pakistan and Italy were played.

Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo and Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada jointly cut the cake in front of guests. The event was very well attended by diplomats, notable business community of Pakistan, defence advisors and attaches of different countries, all envoys of EU don minted the ceremony while Middle Eastern and African countries envoys were also present with their families.

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Pakistan and Republic of Italy have a history of bilatesl relation in the field of Textile which over the years has increased a lot. Around 90 per cent of Pakistan’s exports to Italy are textile- and leather-related products and almost half of Italy’s exports to Pakistan fall in the category of machinery and equipment. Bilateral trade can naturally be improved with more exports of textiles from Pakistan and import of textile machinery from Italy as well as cooperation in other fields.

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Italy is an active investor in Pakistan. Italy provided Pakistan US$100 million under the Pakistan Italian Debt for Development Swap Agreement to social development projects in health, education and sanitation, in Pakistan. Italian government has agreed to provide a credit line equivalent to $10 billion for Italian investors willing to invest in Pakistan. Italy has also supported Pakistan bid for free trade agreement between Pakistan and EU.

There are over 100,000 Pakistanis living in Italy, mainly living in the cities of Milan and Brescia, of whom a vast majority belong to the Punjab province of Pakistan. The Pakistan-Italy bilateral trade volume is currently around $1.5 billion on average. Italy remains major textile trading partner of the Pakistan; most of the Pakistani exports to Italy consist of textiles and clothing and leather apparel. Pakistan has started availing the facility from January 1st 2014.

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Italy is one of the top eight trading partners of Pakistan. Over the years of friendly ties, trade and other economic activities have grown between the two countries. Italy remains major textile trading partner of the Pakistan; most of the Pakistani exports to Italy consist of textiles and clothing and leather apparel. Moreover, 80 percent of Pakistan’s exports are directed to seven EU member countries, Italy, Germany, the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and France.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” can be reached # arifqoreshi@gmail.com 

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