ISLAMABAD: Italy has decided to enhance its economic cooperation with Pakistan and will focus on increasing assistance through development projects.
The Director General of Rome-based Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), Luca Maestripieri, accompanied by Ambassador of Italy Andreas Ferrarese, held a meeting with Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz here on Friday and assured Pakistan of Italy’s economic assistance.
“Pakistan is a very important country for us, and we will continue to engage with the Pakistan government through our economic cooperation,” Luca Maestripieri said.
The Italian team informed Dr Niaz that Italy is placing special focus on enhancing people-to-people contacts between the two countries. For this reason, they said, priority is being given to establishing and developing linkages between universities, government institutions and trade bodies of the two countries. The development projects in various areas would further strengthen and boost the ties, the Italian team said.
Ambassador Ferrarese informed the secretary that the Italian government would soon establish an office of Italian Trade Agency in Pakistan which would enhance trade relations between the two countries.
Dr Niaz appreciated the Italian government’s pledge in the Resilient Pakistan Conference in Geneva last month, and acknowledged Italy’s continuous support for economic development of Pakistan.
The projects involving Italian assistance include economic transformation initiative in Gilgit-Baltistan, command area development work of Kaitu Weir project, Kurram Tangi dam project, and establishment of heritage field schools for preserving cultural heritage.
While acknowledging the role of Italian economic assistance in socio-economic development of Pakistan and its people, Dr Niaz sought the support of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in development of the tourism sector in Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2023
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