Trade mission underway between Italy and Pakistan

The aim of the mission is to deepen trade opportunities between the two countries

 ROME -- The first government and business trade mission in Pakistan began Monday and will be underway until Wednesday, with the aim of deepening investment and collaboration opportunities between Italy and this south Asian country, ministerial sources said.

 Over 35 businesses, 6 associations, more than 80 participants, and 600 back to back meetings will fill the three days, in the cities of Islamabad and Lahore, Il Sole 24 ore reports.

 The mission is promoted by the respective economic development and foreign ministries, and organized by Italy’s Foreign Trade Agency (ICE) and by Confindustria -- the general confederation of Italian industry.

 The Italian delegation is led by the vice secretary of the Economic Development Ministry Ivan Scalfarotto, by the president of the ICE Agency Michele Scannavini, and by the vice president for the internationalization of Confindustria Licia Mattioli.

 “It is a system event that has been anticipated for a while, in view of an exchange that has now just surpassed the threshold of one billion euros. The country is in growth, the emerging middle class will reach 100 million people in 2025 according to the World Bank,” said Scalfarotto.

 “It is all about opening up the potential for growth in trade, intensifying the commercial collaboration -- as well as direct investments -- and reaping mutual benefits, thus reinforcing the presence of Italy in Asia,” the vice secretary concluded.

 The initiative is focused on infrastructure and construction, renewable energy, the automotive industry, ICT, mechanics (for food and agriculture, for the textile and leather industry, and machines to work with stone and marble).

 In 2015, commercial trade between the two countries rose by 4.1 percent compared to the previous year. “The growth predicted for 2016 is of 5.7 percent,” said Mattioli from ICE.