Lahore, January 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): During a ceremony held recently, the Embassy of Italy in Pakistan entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ‘All Pakistan Business Forum’ (APBF), aimed at the establishment and promotion of trade and Investment opportunities through mutual collaboration in the areas of common interests. The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan – His Excellency Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo and the APBF President -Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi signed the MOU, which brought major developments.
According to this MOU, APBF and Italian Embassy have reached an understanding to cooperate in key areas for collaboration, like; promotion of mutual Trade links, facilitation of closer understanding between the Business Community of Italy and Pakistan, promote B2B meetings for sector specific matchmaking, support each other in the organization of business delegation visits, coordination and exchange of information on economic matters of mutual interests, and other understandings of mutual benefit between the two countries as and when deemed appropriate.
The signing ceremony was attended by high-profiled members of the business community, media personnel, political figures, government officials and Academia as well. On this event, President APBF – Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi expressed his gratitude to the Italian Ambassador and acknowledged the valuable collaboration of Italy with Pakistan. During the ceremony both the parties to MOU are certain to bring it to 4-5 billion within the time span of merely one year, instead of current trade balance of 1.5 billion dollars.
Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi in his address to the ceremony emphasized that products must segmentize products, keep focused towards the business and excel in the mutually beneficial sectors of collaboration. Within the short time period of 30 days, Italian Embassy and APBF have successfully reached the consensus for signing an MOU for enhancing the trade and investment, by identifying new areas/ sectors of mutual interest and to facilitate each other in bringing the ties between the two countries to the whole new level.
In the urge to bring the mutual trade to US $ 4-5 billion within a year, parties to the MOU agreed on 6 major areas of collaboration, as described by Mr. Qureshi; The areas worked out for focused collaborations are Agricultural Machinery and Equipments, Leather goods, Textiles, Marble (particularly 4 precious types among more than 105 types), furniture, Renewable energy and automotive. Other potentials sectors are also not neglected, but the spectrum of collaboration will be expanded gradually with serious approach.
President APBF recognized the significant role of women in building Pakistan economy a pride in the region. And for that Women Entrepreneurship has been agreed by the both sides (Italian Embassy and APBF) to facilitate and encourage. Mr. Qureshi also announced to introduce a new chapter of APBF to bridge the gap between the Pakistani business community with established business in abroad and the business community here in Pakistan.
The idea as described by Mr. Qureshi is to reinforce the efforts to fill the gaps and lay the foundations of stronger Pakistani business network, with an international level of reach. The newly announced chapter of APBF for overseas Pakistanis will be headed by a highly decorated ex-civil servant.
The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, his Excellency Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo, while addressing the ceremony, thanked the APBF President – Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi for supporting in his vision for mutual development of both countries. The Italian Ambassador also highlighted great opportunities for Pakistan Businesses to engage with Italy for Trade and Investment opportunities.
His Excellency Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo said, “Pakistan is a great country with a large market where population is exceeding 200 million people. We are looking forward to engage with the business community here in Pakistan. Mr. Ibrahim and I have worked out to identify some mutually beneficial areas for collaboration.”
Mr. Stefano also said that he is interested particularly in the automotive sector and that he wishes to bring Fiat Motors to Pakistan. Italian Ambassador expressed his vision saying, “It is more convenient to engage with private sector of Pakistan to boost mutual business and trade relations”.
At this ceremony APBF also announced to send a business delegation to Italy with serious agenda to each 4-5 business agreements this year. The announced business delegation will visit Italy in April 2016. Answering to a question on the impediments Pakistani products, Mr. Stefano said, “The consistency of quality products to reach international market is the main issue alongside the issue of products certifications.”
Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi reiterated that; “APBF will continue to put its best efforts in establishing and promoting the most favourable 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.”
For more information, contact:
M. Rafi Ullah Khan,
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF)
Suite # 908, 9th Floor, EDEN Heights,
6-Main Gulberg, Jail Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35786767, +92-42-35088717