Pakistan’s exports to Italy record 49pc growth

Published August 2, 2021
Envoy in Rome says the country posted trade surplus of $300m. — Reuters/File
Envoy in Rome says the country posted trade surplus of $300m. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports to Italy recorded a 49 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis to $786 million in the outgoing fiscal year 2020-21 despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic had hit the Italian market.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Italy Jauhar Saleem said Pakistan posted trade surplus of $300 million, which is 49pc higher than the previous year’s figure, according to a statement of the embassy shared with the media.

Italy has been among the first countries in Europe that were severely hit by the pandemic. Italian GDP fell as low as 9.6pc in 2020, which is the highest fall since World War II. Moreover, Italian imports from non-EU countries declined by 14pc.

Mr Saleem said that despite these difficult conditions, Pakistan has not only recovered from the pandemic-led export challenges, but also registered impressive growth during the period under review.

Envoy in Rome says the country posted trade surplus of $300m

The value-added sectors were the main drivers of this growth, he added. Trade surplus has been created by export enhancement and import contraction.

Ambassador Saleem stated that despite the Indian false claim over Basmati’s exclusive Geographical Indication (GI) rights in the EU and Italian markets, Pakistan maintained its position as market leader in rice with 37.4pc share, whereas India supplied only 12pc of the total imported rice in Italy.

Italy hosts the largest Pakistani diaspora in the EU. In FY21, workers’ remittances from Italy reached $601 million, which is an all-time high figure. It is 66pc higher when compared with the annual figure of FY20 that was $369m.

It has made Italy, Pakistan’s 7th largest destination for workers’ remittances globally and No 1 from the EU. Ambassador Saleem expected this growth streak to continue in FY22. He said Italy and Pakistan have agreed in principle to negotiate a labour agreement that will give Pakistan comprehensive market access to the Italian labour market. He said Pakistan has been included in the Italian Seasonal Work Visa for 2022, which would offer immense opportunity for “our labour force working in agriculture and services sectors to come and work in Italy with legal entry mode”.

The ambassador further said that Italian firms are investing in energy, food processing, leather, textile, construction and furnishing. He said the Pakistani mission is promoting joint venture mode for Italian investment in Pakistan that will “help in technology and skill transfer to our businesses”.

Once, he said, the travel restrictions are eased there will be increased number of Italian investors visiting Pakistan. He also highlighted the initiatives that have been taken to promote tourism, especially capacity building of Pakistan’s tourism sector stakeholders through Italian experts.

On multilateral front, Ambassador Saleem said Pakistan has been elected president of the International Development Law Organisation for two years, which would help in promoting Pakistan’s leading role on different forums along with taking advantage of IDLO’s technical assistance for Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd , 2021

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Another U-turn?
Updated 07 Oct, 2022

Another U-turn?

The PTI’s decision to take back its resignations could herald a twist in the tussle playing out in Islamabad.
Renewed TTP threat
07 Oct, 2022

Renewed TTP threat

THE interior ministry’s call for ‘extreme vigilance’ and instructions to security forces to conduct ‘search...
Women’s gala in GB
07 Oct, 2022

Women’s gala in GB

REGRESSIVE forces, once again, nearly had their way — this time in Gilgit-Baltistan. A three-day sporting gala for...
‘Draconian’ law
06 Oct, 2022

‘Draconian’ law

THE debate over what it means to be ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ has reignited after the incumbent Supreme Court ...
Welcome clarity
Updated 06 Oct, 2022

Welcome clarity

There needs to be consensus amongst all political actors that matters of governance should be the exclusive domain of civilians.
Car purchases
06 Oct, 2022

Car purchases

IF we are in the market to buy a new car, we end up paying a significantly large amount as premium over the sticker...