KCCI, ASSOMAC for reopening Italian Trade Commission in KarachiJune 18, 2015
KARACHI: Mario Pucci, Director International Relation of ASSOMAC, the Italian Association of Footwear, Leather Goods and Tanning Machinery, while agreeing to Acting President KCCI Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi’s suggestion about reopening the Italian Trade Commission (ITC), said that they have also been pushing the Italian government to reopen the ITC office, preferably in Karachi as most of Italian trade was being done from this city.
Mario Pucci was exchanging views with Acting President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mohammad Ibrahim at a meeting during his visit to KCCI. He said that if ITC office reopens in Karachi, it will help further trade relations between the two countries and bring business communities of Pakistan and Italy closer.
Vice President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Group GM HR/ Administration of Artistic Fabric Mills Limited A.R. Daudpota and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion.
Highlighting the purpose of his visit to Pakistan, Director International Relation ASSOMAC stated that he was part of a delegation from Italy which arrived here to better understand the Pakistani market and seek ways and means of how to improve commercial and industrial relations between the two countries.
He said that both countries must make efforts to improve the existing trade relations by exploring investment opportunities and seek joint ventures. He informed that Italy supplies more than 50 percent of the Tanning Machinery all over the world, followed by China, Brazil, Turkey and so on. Italian businessmen and industrialists have been enjoying good trade relations with their Pakistani counterparts for the past many decades, particularly the businessmen and industrialists of Karachi city but there is a need to further improve these ties by focusing on enhancing interaction and undertaking trade promotional initiatives, he added.
A.R. Daudpota, on the occasion, pointed out that Italian Trade Commission was closed in the month of August 2013, which has terribly affected trade relations between the two countries as the businessmen and industrialists from both sides particularly those belonging to textile, tanning, leather and marble sectors etc. are finding it very hard to get connected with each other. Consequently, trade between the two countries remains limited which can surely be improved if the vibrant platform of Italian Trade Commission is reactivated in Karachi.
Speaking on the occasion, Acting President KCCI Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi expressed deep concern over closure of ITC office in Karachi and the problems being faced by the local business and industrial community. He offered KCCI’s platform to act in lieu of ITC for facilitating the business communities of the two countries until the Italian government takes decision about reopening ITC in Karachi.
Commenting on potential of Pakistan’s footwear and leather sectors, Ibrahim Kasumbi pointed out that leather and footwear industry of Pakistan have made significant progress in the last decade.
Acting President informed that Pakistan produces a broad spectrum of shoes which includes waterproof, rubber, plastic, leather and textile. “The availability of high quality skins and hides is considered to be a comparative advantage for Pakistan’s footwear industry that other industries of the world lack”, he added.
He said that Pakistan’s footwear sector possesses enormous potential to increase its exports of leather footwear and even boot out competition of imported footwear from the domestic market. Ample quantity of fine raw hides, finished leather and labour force availability are the comparative advantages that bode well for the sector.
By adopting measures like increased focus on value added items, introducing versatile and high quality footwear, accentuating non leather footwear to cater to world demand, importing state of the art machinery, incentivizing technology transfers and by renegotiating trade agreements, the sector will make progress by leaps and bounds, Ibrahim Kasumbi commented.
Ibrahim Kasumbi urged the Italian companies to invest in Pakistan, undertake joint ventures or go for licensing initiatives as Pakistan offers lucrative opportunities in an investment friendly business atmosphere. He also invited the Italian Investors to participate in next year’s My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony exhibition which will be a perfect platform for exploring Pakistan’s retail market and Business-to-Business meetings.