Meeting with Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo along with Italian Agricultural and Olive Experts

Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo along with Italian Agricultural and olive experts, called on Federal Minister for National food security and research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Boson here in Islamabad today. Bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Italy stands at 941 million US dollars in 2014-15. Italy is the third largest export destination of Pakistan products in EU after UK and Germany; it is also a major textile trading partner of Pakistan. Italy’s exports to Pakistan fall mostly into category of machinery and equipment. Federal Minister expressed his desire that bilateral trade could be expanded between Pakistan and Italy; with special focus on areas of agriculture particularly in farm machinery and livestock sector. The particular focus in the meeting was on Italian support for the olive sector in Pakistan and also future strategy to make it a great success with proposed assistance both at technical and professional level. The experts from Italy told the Minister that a systematic approach is required for olive production and extraction of olive oil. Italy would provide assistance in establishing the project with all kind of technical and financial assistance. The olive project would change the economic outlook through employment. Technical and financial assistance even at grass root level would be provided and for the scientists to get relevant experience in the field .They would start scholarships in universities of Florence for professional expertise and training.

Federal Minister told about the deliberations about the formation of monitoring cell in the Ministry of national food security and research in order to implement the system of check and balance at the start of the project. Federal secretary, Additional secretary and DG NAPHIS were also present in the meeting.