PO: An Ambassador has a lot on this plate as a representative of his country. What do you consider your most prioritise area of work in Pakistan?
SP: Apart the most obvious, brining the two countries closer together and the way you do it is through enhanced economic ties, cultural ties, enhanced political ties and in our case defence ties.
PO: How do you see Italy Pakistan economic relationships now and in the future?
SP: I am very bullish on Pakistan and have very high expectations from it. Whenever there is a government that comes with a reform mandate, it is always welcome . Of course there are some problems which all new governments face regarding macroeconomic imbalances but once you overcome that you can flourish.
As far as the bilateral relations are concerned we have almost tripled our trade volume. Today eight out of the ten big companies in Italy have come to Pakistan and are currently working here. In the defence sector Pakistan has become a very reliable partner. Things are looking good. Italian companies here in Pakistan are spread over a lot of fields including construction material, engineering, automotive industry, steelmakers, marble and mining and textile machinery and doing very well.
PO: You say that Pakistan attracts a lot of Italian companies. Does it include Defence Industries as Pakistan spends a great deal on Defence products also.
SP: Italy has trade relations with over seventy countries. You sell your weapons and your defence systems to whoever buys them as you sell your cars to whoever buys them and same with all products and in that way, yes Pakistan is a very attractive market.
As far as Italy is concerned last year we exported goods worth 600 billion dollar all over the world. These include around eighteen percent food and fashion, Pharma, energy products etc out of that only 5% is share is of defence products. The main staple of our exports, as is also here in Pakistan, remains to be machinery including machinery for extracting mines and Minerals, Textiles, Auto Industries and in fact machinery for all sorts of industries.
PO: So machinery is the staple of the Italian exports in Pakistan?
SP: We produce some of the best machinery in the world and if you visit the industrial cities of Pakistan like Sialkot they are full of our machines. We produce the best textile machinery as well as the machinery for marble and minings. We also have a sizable share in the automobile parts industry as well as the pharma.
By: Noreen Haider