Italy to set up $10 billion credit facility: BoI chief

Italy will set up a creditline facility of $10 billion for its companies aiming to invest in various fields in Pakistan. The Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI), Saleem H Mandviwalla, told reporters on Saturday at a press conference at the BoI office that the facility would conclude in six months, which would be available for Italian firms in Italy to avail.
He said that President Asif Ali Zardari in his meeting with his Italian counterpart and also with Italian Prime Minister requested them for establishment of a creditline facility to its firms which intend to invest in Pakistan. Also, a meeting with Italian small and medium enterprises was held, which remained successful, as President Zardari’s primary focus stuck to his investment plan during the recent Italy visit.
He pointed out that Italian firms are undergoing a financial crunch and investment opportunities in the country would also help them overcome such problems, and Pakistan would also benefit in the process. A Pakistan-Italy chamber of businessmen will be established in Pakistan, which the Italian government will support, Mandviwalla said.
However, terming the recent official visit of President Zardari to Italy as “successful”, he said that foreign investors, despite keen willingness to grab business opportunities in Pakistan, are reluctant to do so because of the ever-rising terrorism. President Zardari extended invitation to the Italian president to visit Pakistan which he accepted and said that he will arrive in Islamabad with Italian investors.
The President also discussed textile related issues which Pakistan faces in Europe with Italy which she promised to sort out with its G-8 members in next session, besides ensuring all-out support to Pakistan for fighting war against terrorism. The Chairman of BoI expressed hope that the visit would open doors for bilateral trade between the two countries.
He also apprised the reporters about his recent South Korean visit and termed it also successful, saying that many firms already in Pakistan have shown keen interest to further boost their businesses here. He said that Korean firms are interested in fields of power generation and distribution, construction of dams, in automobile sector. The Korean Prime Minister was given an invitation on behalf of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, which he accepted to visit Pakistan and also to bring along investors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2009