The Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese on Sunday said the business communities of Pakistan and Italy needed to be brought closer for enhancing bilateral trade and investment cooperation. There were vast opportunities for bilateral trade and investment cooperation between Pakistan and Italy from which businessmen and traders of both the countries could reap the benefits, the ambassador said after negotiating with the senior business leaders in Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). The ambassador urged that Pakistani businessmen and traders should move forward and work together for promoting bilateral trade and economic ties between both the countries. At present, there were ample opportunities for business and investment promotion in both the countries, which required further cooperation, he said. He said the Italian embassy in Islamabad would make every effort to assist the local business communities and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in this regard. “Our embassy is ready to negotiate with local investors and businesses, especially the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to facilitate for business visas to the traders” he said. The Italian envoy said the right businessmen and people certified by the chamber were also ready to provide visa facilitation. He said our government was taking a number of steps to enhance cooperation between the two countries. At present, business and new economic mission were being opened in all major cities including Karachi. The new economic mission had been deployed in Pakistan to further promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation in different potential areas, he said. Initially the new economic mission had been established in major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, adding that later it would be expanded to other potential trade hubs to increase the economic and trade integration between Pakistan and Italy. The senior diplomat said Italy was committed to extend the cooperation of a diverse potential sector to enhance the bilateral economic and cooperation between Pakistan and Italy. A new Italian embassy was being set up in Islamabad, the work of which would be completed soon and then “We will increase the level of work in many new fields.” He said after establishing the new embassy both sides could move forward on many new aspects of mutual trade promotion and cooperation with the business community. The ambassador said they also need to enhance cooperation in the field of technology transfer. Whereas Andreas Ferrarese was of the view that Italy wanted to start a new era of economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan through transfer of technology and for upgradation of Pakistan’s textile industry. He said green economy, transfer of technology for the industrial sector including textiles and agri industry, construction sector, education and health were major areas of focus to extend the bilateral cooperation. The ambassador said through the green economy, Italy wanted to cooperate with Pakistan for environment protection, circular economy, resource saving and management, ecosystem protection and recovery, water conservation and natural disaster prevention. “Our embassy in Islamabad is working hard to promote cultural cooperation in both countries.” He underlined the importance of promoting cultural connectivity to promote bilateral trade. He said he would also encourage exchange of students to further strengthen bilateral relations. More needed to be done to boost bilateral tourism between the two countries, he commented. In 2020, 13 million people came to Italy for tourism. Economic, trade and cultural relations between Italy and Pakistan were at an all-time high stage, he commented. The ambassador informed that Italy hosted the largest Pakistani diaspora in the European Union (EU) countries. He said there was huge trade potential in different sectors of the economy which needed to be explored and in this regard both sides were engaged in the dialogue process through the Pak-Italy Joint Economic Commission was the forum for bilateral economic engagements.