ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir Saturday said that Italy was a potential trading partner of Pakistan in the European Union (EU), where our trade surplus is going.
Italy has the largest number of Pakistani immigrants in Europe which were a key component of the people to people and trade relationship between the two countries, the ICCI president told APP after his meeting with Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese here in ICCI.
Pakistan’s 150,000 immigrants in Italy send huge remittances to the country annually from last couple of the years, he said and informed that Italy hosts the largest Pakistani diaspora in the EU countries.
In FY 2020-21, workers remittances from Italy reached $ 601 million which is an all-time high figure. He said it was 66 percent higher if compared with the annual figure of FY 2019-20 that was $ 369 million.
It has made Italy, Pakistan’s 7th largest destination for workers remittance globally and No.1 from the EU, the ICCI president said and expected that this growth streak to be continued in the FY 2021-22.
He said Pakistan has achieved trade surplus target of $ 210 million with Italy during fiscal year 2019-20 against the trade deficit of $164 million during the year 2018-19.
The exports to Italy were recorded at $731 million and imports from the country stood at $521 million, he said. He informed that Pakistan’s major exports to Italy were textile, leather, rice, ethanol while Pakistan is market leader in rice and it holds 38 percent share in Italian rice market.
This year, the ICCI president said that despite COVID-19 and lockdown, Pakistan has got a trade surplus of $210 million. While talking about Italian investment in Pakistan in June 2020, he mentioned that it increased 45 percent against the corresponding period.
In value terms, it was $ 51.9 million last year and it has been increased to $56.4 million in FY 2019-20. He said that Italian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) came mainly in energy, Pharma, chemicals and Information Technology (IT).
Shakeel Muneer said that Italy was the 8th largest economy of the world with $ 2 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Italy has the 3rd largest economy in the European Union (EU) after Germany and France and the Pakistan’s 9th top export destination, he added.
Currently Italy was providing technical assistance in textiles, leather and marble sectors in local industry. He urged that Pakistan need to expand it work into dairy and livestock, olives and olive products, plastics, processed food and construction sectors.—APP