BOAO  - Italy on Sunday assured Pakistan of its support to get the status of Generalised System of European Union.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in a meeting with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani hoped that the GSP Plus would have substantial positive effect on Pakistan’s economy.

The two leaders who met here on the sidelines of Boao Forum for Asia, discussed wide range of issues of mutual interest, including the GSP Plus - the European Union’s generalized system of preferences that provides developing countries preferential access to the EU markets through reduced tariffs.

Gilani mentioned the significant efforts of Pak-Italy Joint Business Commission in enhancing bilateral trade and stressed holding of its regular meetings.

He said Pakistan and Italy share common views particularly on terrorism and on the expansion of UN Security Council.

He stressed the need to promote parliamentary exchanges and mentioned the invitation extended by Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker to her Italian counterpart to visit Pakistan along with the members of Pak-Italy Friendship Association.

Gilani said Pakistan is planning a country presentation roadshow in Italy which would focus on key sectors of economy for which preparations were underway and dates were being finalised for October this year.

He said Italy is an important partner in Pakistan’s development process including water reservoirs and energy sectors.

He said people in Pakistan fondly remember the assistance of Italy on Tarbela dam and hoped that same contribution would be extended by Italy on construction of new dams.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan looked forward to Italy’s support at the European Union Forum and the European Council for early completion of institutional formalities so that confessions for the EU autonomous trade preferences package for Pakistan become operational.

He expressed satisfaction over Pak-Italy defence cooperation and said the scope could be further enlarged to include joint exercises, enhance training facilities, regular senior-level exchanges and joint ventures in defence industry.