Italy to open a cultural center in Islamabad to boost bilateral trade

Currently, the bilateral trade between the two countries stands at $1.7 billion annually

The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, Andreas Ferrarese, has said that he will set up an Italian cultural center in Islamabad to promote the Italian lifestyle’s various aspects. The center will likely be set up in the under-construction embassy in the diplomatic enclave. He also added that student exchange programs between the countries would also be put in place.

“I want to open up a cultural center, maybe in one part of the new embassy, and promote Italian cuisine, art, paintings, music so that the Pakistanis can know more about Italy,” the Ambassador said.

Bilateral trade

Italy also wants to promote trade ties between the two countries. Currently, mutual trade is a mere $1.7 billion. Ferrarese said that boosting the bilateral trade by 500 million dollars annually over the next three years is a priority.

Pakistan primarily exports textile, leather, rice, ethanol, beverages, spirits and vinegar, among other items to Italy. Pakistan typically imports ships, boats, and other floating structures, machinery, pharmaceutical products, aircraft, and spacecraft, among other products.

The Ambassador also said that Italy was providing technical assistance in the textiles, leather and marble sectors. He also offered support in the dairy and livestock, olive and olive products, plastics, processed food and construction sectors.

Support for Pakistan’s GSP+ status

The Italian Ambassador also said that his country would support Pakistan when the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) status comes under review. Currently, Pakistan has the status active until 2022. Since receiving the status in 2014, Pakistan’s exports have increased to the European Union by around $3 billion.

Stronger bonds with Italy will help Pakistan in terms of exports as well as in terms of transfer of knowledge and technology. Pakistan should ensure that the goodwill gestures are reciprocated accordingly, and the friendship between the two countries is taken to new heights.

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