ISLAMABAD – Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Ishaq Dar on Monday assured the Italian Ambassador that both the countries will cooperate to enhancing trade relations and facilitating investment.
The minister informed the ambassador about the positive trends in the economy of Pakistan and said that we have liberalized our economy in order to facilitate foreign investment in the country, according to press release issued by the Ministry of Finance
He said that there is a general appreciation by the international financial institutions on the positive outlook and performance of economy during the last year. He underlined that there are huge opportunities for Italian companies and investors to invest in Pakistan which has a huge market.
The Italian ambassador briefed Senator Dar on ongoing cooperation between the two countries and said that there is an increasing interest in Pakistani market by Italian investors.
He informed that since last year, there is an increase in trade volume and the GSP plus status will further enhance bilateral trade. He briefed the minister on exchange of business delegations to harvest the trade potential.
The ambassador also gave a brief account of Italian financial assistance being provided to Pakistan including contribution to Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Post Flood Aid and Debt Swap Agreement.
He further informed that the Italian government is willing to provide soft loans for energy and education sectors in Pakistan.
He said that Italy has been a great friend and we appreciate its cooperation with Pakistan in the multilateral forums.
Senator Dar appreciated the efforts made by the ambassador to enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries and said that in line with the political vision of the PML-N leadership, the Pakistani government is focusing on enhancing trade instead of seeking aid.
The ambassador extended invitation from Italian finance minister to Ishaq Dar for attending Asia-Europe Finance Ministers meeting to be held in Milan, Italy on September 12, 2014, which will provide an opportunity for multi-lateral and bilateral cooperation to the countries of the two continents.
Secretary for Economic Affairs Division Saleem Sethi, Advisor to the Finance Ministry Rana Assad Amin, Additional Finance Secretary/SA to Finance Minister Shahid Mahmood and other senior officials of the finance ministry also attended the meeting.