ISLAMABAD : Minister of State for Commerce, Textile and Privatization Engineer Khuram Dastagir Khan has said that there existed a vast potential for expanding trade ties between Italy and Pakistan as their economies complemented each other. He said that Pakistan was an ideal location for foreign investors due to its geostrategic location, a thriving middle class, a huge pool of youthful and skilled labour and a highly liberal investment regime that the govt had put in place. He was speaking at a Conference “Strengthening Pakistan Italy Partnership” organized by Embassy of Pakistan in Rome at the Italian Chamber of Deputies the other day.

, according to a statement received here on Tuesday.

Khuram Dastgir also made a strong case for Pakistan’s inclusion in the European Union’s GSP Plus Scheme which would allow greater market access to Pakistani exports at preferential terms.

He said that the local Italian and European industries should have no cause of concern at the prospect of increased textile exports from Pakistan as such fears were ill-founded and not supported by statistical evidence.

On the contrary, greater business for Pakistan’s textile industry would translate into increased demand for the Italian textile machineries, dyes and chemicals, he added.

The audience at the conference included parliamentarians, representatives of Italian companies and chambers of commerce and members of the diplomatic community.

Earlier in the day, the Minister of State held meetings with his counterparts at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he sought Italy’s support to Pakistan’s bid for inclusion in the GSP Plus Scheme and discussed ways for further strengthening of economic ties.

Italy is Pakistan’s third largest trade partner in the European Union. The two countries haves excellent bilateral relations marked by mutual understanding and goodwill.