Giving a new impetus to the economic engagement with Italy, the Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma has set a deadline for joint working groups to prepare their recommendation for upcoming meeting of India-Italy Joint Economic Commission to be held in June 2012. India and Italy have five working groups on Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Innovation and Science, ICT and Pharmaceuticals. Officials have been asked to explore the possibility of two more working groups on Tourism & hospitality and Agro-processing. In his meeting with the visiting Italian Foreign Minister Mr Guilio Terzi di Sant’ Agata here today, both sides also agreed to announce a Joint Business Forum in the upcoming visit of the Indian Minister to Italy.
While apprising the visiting Minister about the recent developments in the Indian economic policy environment, Shri Sharma invited Italian industry to be a partner in the proposed National Manufacturing and Investment Zones. "May be a consortium of Industry from Italy can become a partner in at least one of the NMIZs," said the Minister.
Shri Sharma emphasized that implementation of a liberalized Business Visa regime will lead to even greater levels of cooperation and partnership between the business communities of the two countries. During Shri Sharma’s visit to Rome in February 2011 the Italian side had assured full cooperation in realizing a liberalized business visa regime, within Schengen parameters. India is giving Italian citizens multiple entry long duration (one year) business visa. Shri Sharma suggested that apex business chambers should be the nodal agency for certifying the candidates for long duration business visa. Italian Minister assured to streamline the process of visa and informed that already there is a significant rise in number of business visa.
Both sides emphasized the need to strengthen institutional arrangements between the two country. Shri Sharma Informed the Foreign Minister about the tie up between Milan Polytechnic with Institutions in India with regard to collaboration in the field of design. India will participate as Partner Country in Milan Expo 2015.
Later Shri Sharma and the Italian Minister interacted with select Italian business leaders from the fields of Infrastructure, defence, constructions, engineering,
Both sides expressed satisfaction over the growing trade and investment between the two countries as reflected in the 2010-11 figures, where overall trade with Italy touched US$ 8.81 billion, showing a growth of 21.27% in 2010-11 from the earlier year. Exports to Italy in 2010-11 registered a growth of 33.85% at US$ 4.55 billion. Imports from Italy saw a growth of 10.20% at US$ 4.26 billion in 2010-11 as compared to 2009-10. The overall trade has registered a growth of 20.02% during the period 2011-12 (Apr-Dec). Exports registered a growth of 11.82% valued at US$ 3.55 billion and imports registered a growth of 28.12% valued at US$ 4.12 billion over the corresponding period in the last year.
The top sectors of exports which witnessed growth in F.Y. 2010-11 are Transport Equipments, Petroleum, Readymade garments, Electronic Goods, Machinery & equipments, etc. Petroleum products (18149%) and Electronic Goods (303.14%) saw the maximum growth. The top sectors of imports from Italy are Machinery, Machine Tools, Project Goods, Iron & Steel, Electronic Goods etc. In imports machine tools (64.36%) and artificial resins (35.71%), saw the maximum growth.