In a major economic development, Pakistan’s exports to Italy increased by 49 percent year on year to $ 786 million in fiscal year 2020-2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the Italian market. This was stated by the Pakistani Ambassador to Italy Jauhar Saleem.

He further mentioned that Pakistan had a trade surplus of $ 300 million, up 49 percent from the previous year, according to the embassy’s media reports.

Italy was one of the first European countries to be hit by the pandemic. Italy’s GDP fell to 9.6 percent in 2020, the biggest drop since World War II. In addition, Italian imports from non-EU countries fell by 14%.

Ambassador said that despite these challenging conditions, Pakistan has recovered from the export problems caused by the pandemic, but also achieved impressive growth rates over the period under review.

Ambassador Salim noted that Pakistan has maintained its leadership position in the European rice market with a 37.4 percent share, while India has only 12 percent share of Italy’s imported rice.

The ambassador added that Italian companies are investing in energy, food processing, leather, textiles, construction and interior design. He said the Pakistan operation will help attract Italian investment in a joint venture in Pakistan that “will help transfer technology and skills to our business.”

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