PR No. 95Islamabad: December 9, 2015

Ambassador of Italy in Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo called on Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal today. The meeting was held in warm and cordial environment. Various issues pertaining to mutual interests, cooperation and bilateral relations were discussed.

They exchanged views on matters related to bilateral cooperation in trade, investment and education fields. They agreed to strengthen the bilateral ties through enhanced cooperation in these areas.

On this occasion, Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan would welcome Italian cooperation in social, economic, education and technological areas. He said that Pakistan can benefit from the expertise of Italy in agro-based industry. Pakistan has launched Olive Cultivation Project this year. Thereby, Italy’s assistance will be critical in making this project a success. Minister maintained that Italy can also assist Pakistan in creating value-chain for different crops for export purpose.

He said that human resource development is one of challenges Pakistan faces today that is critical for sustainable economic growth. We need 10,000 Phds in next ten years to expand higher education in the country. Italy can help Pakistan providing access to Pakistani scholars and students to its universities.

Minister briefed Italian envoy on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will serve as platform for regional connectivity of three billion people. He said that Pakistan is an open and liberal market that offers equal opportunities.  We aim to Pakistan manufacturing hub that would ultimately provide employment opportunities to the people not only in Pakistan but across the region at large.

Italian Ambassador informed Federal Minister Planning & Development that his country is keen to invest in Pakistan in various sectors especially cooperation in developing agro-based industry.