Italy-Pakistan Footwear Technological Centre (IPFTC) will enable producers to enhance skills, productivity. Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Amadeo Scarpa has expressed the determination to further strengthen ties with Pakistan in all fields of mutual interest, especially to deepen commercial relations between the two sides.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Italy-Pakistan Footwear Technological Centre (IPFTC) via video link on Wednesday, the ambassador said in these tough times when Covid-19 outbreak had created market uncertainty, the setting up of IPFTC was indeed a step that highlighted the optimism between the two countries.
“I have no doubt that we will face Covid-19 circumstances with renewed energy and enhanced collaboration in many other sectors,” Scarpa said.
He said he was confident that the technological centre would impact production and enhance the capacity of Pakistan’s footwear manufacturing sector, hence, developing its expertise in the domestic and global markets.
“Italy-Pakistan Footwear Technological Centre (IPFTC) in Lahore has been equipped with state-of-the-art machinery that will enable the association to meet ever-changing needs of the industry and consumer demand,” the envoy added.
As per the United Nations Comtrade database, Pakistan’s total exports to Italy stood at $808.35 million in 2019 whereas imports for the same year were $935.59 million, with bilateral trade volume standing at $1.74 billion.
According to consultant for IPFTC and Footwear Design Studio Mario Pucci, who was present on the occasion via video link, the trade volume in this particular sector will increase in future.
“Currently, the trade volume of footwear industry of Pakistan and Italy stands at €15 million, but I am sure through this initiative the volume will grow despite Covid-19 difficulties,” said Pucci.
This Italy-Pakistan Footwear Technological Centre (IPFTC) is the outcome of four years of relentless efforts by both the governments to forge strong business ties.
“IPFTC will offer complete environment for the footwear industry to adapt to most advanced techniques to develop quality products and enhance existing skills to meet the ever-changing demand of the international market. Our cooperation will continue to thrive with more business opportunities,” he added.
All the machinery and technical assistance for this project has been provided by the Italian government whereas the Pakistani government has provided premises, paid cost of transportation and customs duty.
Stakeholders said the project would be a stepping stone towards betterment of Pakistan’s footwear industry in the long run and would help provide support for the domestic industry to become better equipped with latest techniques and skills of contemporary industry.