Italy initiates visa service in Lahore to amplify Pakistan trade relations

Lahore: Italy’s strategic move to commence visa services in Lahore marks a significant leap towards strengthening bilateral trade and economic ties with Pakistan. First Secretary of the Embassy of Italy, Augusto Palmeiri, underscored the criticality of this initiative during his dialogue with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

This expansion not only symbolizes a gateway for enhanced business exchanges but also sets an ambitious trade volume target of US$5 billion between the two nations.

Amidst a gathering of key business figures, Palmeiri highlighted Lahore’s pivotal role in Italy-Pakistan relations and expressed satisfaction with the efforts to escalate bilateral trade. LCCI President Kashif Anwar echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the visa service’s potential to facilitate business and general public dealings. The dialogue also touched upon the successful track record of trade between Italy and Pakistan, which currently stands at a substantial US$1.67 billion, underscoring the vast untapped potential for growth in sectors beyond the traditional textiles and leather goods.

Palmeiri’s announcement of encouraging Pakistani entrepreneurs to partake in Italian expos and exhibitions is a testament to Italy’s commitment to deepening trade relations. This approach aims to foster business-to-business connections and explore new areas for collaboration, such as processed food, sports goods, and surgical instruments. Moreover, the discussion underscored the significance of political cooperation and joint ventures, particularly in mining, SME development, and technology transfer, as critical avenues for achieving the envisioned trade volume goal.

The discourse at the LCCI meeting did not just revolve around current achievements but also laid the groundwork for future endeavors. Both nations expressed a keen interest in renewing their memorandum of understanding to solidify their commitment to mutual development. The emphasis was also on exploiting opportunities in sectors identified by Pakistan’s Special Investment Facilitation Council, including defence, agriculture, minerals, IT/telecommunications, and energy. This proactive stance by both Italy and Pakistan heralds a promising future for bilateral trade relations, with the potential to significantly surpass the current trade volume.

The inauguration of the visa service facility in Lahore is more than a logistical enhancement; it’s a bridge fostering closer economic and cultural ties between Italy and Pakistan. As this initiative unfolds, it is expected to unlock new pathways for trade, investment, and collaboration, thereby contributing to the prosperity and growth of both nations.