Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan is leading the Pakistani delegation in Pak-Italy Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to be held in Rome on January 29 and 30.
The Minister of State for Finance will also co-chair the session along with Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Italy Ivan Scalfarotto, for the third Session of Pak-Italy JEC.
During the sessions both sides would have discussions and negotiations on various agenda items and would sign the Protocol/agreed minutes of the JEC on 30th January, said press release here on Monday.
Both the sides will review the recent economic outlook and the economic development goals of their respective countries in the coming years. They will exchange views on the prospects of the bilateral commercial and investment relationship between the two countries.
They will sign three Letters of Intent on cooperation in the areas of textile, footwear and gemstones industry. An MoU between Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and ICE-Italian Trade Agency is also expected to be signed. Again, a Memorandum of Intent between Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) and its Italian counterpart Confidustria Mardomacchine will also be inked on this occasion.
The JEC will especially focus on joint projects to expand technology transfers, multi-sector training, services and technical support, by engaging public and private actors, sharing the common objective to support the growth and competitiveness of SMEs.
It is worth mentioning that Italy has been supporting Pakistan through humanitarian as well as technical assistance in rehabilitation projects carried out through the provincial governments and civil society organizations, as well as by a contribution worth €40 million to poverty reduction through Rural Development in Balochistan, KPK and bordering areas of Afghanistan.
Italy has also approved soft loans amounting to €22.50 million for Gilgit-Baltistan Economic Transformation Initiatives and €20 million for Professional Capacity Building and Extension in Agriculture (TVET). Italy has canceled debt amounting to Rs.6.4 billion (€ 64 million), roughly 77% of the total amount of debt amounting to Rs.8.2 billion (€ 72 million) owed by Government of Pakistan.
Pak–Italian Debt Swap Agreement (PIDSA) will be completed by end of 2018, and the remaining debt will also be canceled by the Italian government.