PR No. 174 Islamabad, April 21, 2016
President Mamnoon Hussain has said that the Government is committed to further expanding and deepening mutually beneficial relationship between Pakistan and Italy especially in the economic and commercial spheres adding that Pakistan has recently announced a new automobile policy to diversify its automobile industry in which Italian car maker Fiat and motorcycle maker Piaggo may consider venturing into Pakistan’s lucrative market.
The President said this during a meeting with Paolo Gentiloni, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Thursday.
The President noted that Italy is Pakistan’s third largest trading partner in Europe and among the top ten globally and urged for encouraging Italian entrepreneurs to do business with Pakistan. President Mamnoon emphasized that there is immense potential for expanding bilateral trade and appreciated the support and cooperation extended by Italian side in organizing “Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum” in April 2016.
President Mamnoon Hussain expressed Pakistan’s strong resolve to eliminate terrorism and said that Pakistan has been the biggest victim of this scourge and has sacrificed 60,000 lives and suffered economic losses of over $100 billion. The President emphasised that Operation Zarb-e-Azb will continue till elimination of the last terrorist adding that terrorism is now a global problem and urged for joint efforts in eliminating this menace.
President Mamnoon said that Pakistan is making sincere efforts to facilitate dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghan Government for peace in Afghanistan hoping that the efforts of the Quadrilateral Group will soon bear positive results. The President remarked that peace in Afghanistan will ensure peace in the whole region.
President Mamnoon said that the minorities in Pakistan are enjoying equal status and the country’s Constitution makes no discrimination against them. The President referred to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech in which he had categorically said that all minorities will enjoy equal rights in the country as Pakistanis.
President Mamnoon said that the large number of Pakistanis living in Italy is serving as a bridge in furtherance of friendly relations between Italy and Pakistan.
The President highlighted that Pakistan and Italy have commonality of views on number of regional and global issues, particularly on the issues of terrorism and UN Security Council Reform process adding that Pakistan will continue to work closely with Italy on all issues of mutual interest.
The President lauded the role of Italy in the EU on grant of greater market access to Pakistan noting that Pakistan is positive that Italy will continue to support it in the on-going GSP Plus review process in the EU. President Mamnoon Hussain noted that being the members of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) Group, Italy and Pakistan work closely on the issue of Security Council reform.
Speaking on the occasion, the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that his country accords high importance to its relations with Pakistan and agreed upon the need to increase the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries to fully realise the existing potential in the energy, agriculture, food processing and automotive sectors. The Italian Foreign Minister appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fight against terrorism and urged upon the need to jointly combat this common challenge. Paolo Gentiloni also appreciated the positive role and contribution of the Pakistani community living in Italy.