TRADE WITH ITALY SHOWS SIGNIFICANT AND BALANCED GROWTH, BUT INDIA RAISES MARKET
Date : 07 Jan 2005
Location : New Delhi
India’s trade with Italy has registered a significant and balanced growth. The volume of bilateral trade during the year 2003-04 hit a new high of US $ 2.77 billion registering a growth of 28% over the previous year. During the first six months of 2004-05 (April-September), bilateral trade has registered a growth of 21%. While noting this during an interactive business meeting with Mr. Antonio Marzano, Italian Minister for Production Activities, organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) here today, Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, also raised the issues of market access arising out of various health/SPS (sanitary & phyto-sanitary) standards that Indian exporters are facing in Europe in general and in particular, the market access problems that Indian exporters of marine products were facing in the Italian market. Given Italy’s role as a major player in Europe and also one of India’s largest trading partners in the European Union (EU), Shri Kamal Nath sought their cooperation in overcoming such barriers. The Export Inspection Council of India has disputed many of the rejections of consignments on grounds of the absence of clear-cut norms from the European Commission. Shri Kamal Nath suggested that an agreement between the Export Inspection Council of India and its counterpart agency of the Italian government, which had been under consideration since 2002, be expedited so as to address this issue.
Earlier, at the inaugural session of the 16th Indo-Italian Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation, the two ministers underlined the importance of the Joint Commission as providing another opportunity to find ways and means of further expanding and diversifying bilateral economic cooperation. Shri S.N. Menon, Commerce Secretary, attended the inaugural session, which was followed by official level discussions in the Joint Commission, co-chaired by Shri Abhijit Sengupta, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Mr. Amedeo Teti, Director General, Italian Ministry of Production Activities.
The thrust areas of India’s exports to Italy are textiles, including cotton and synthetic yarns and fabrics, knitwear items, readymade garments, leather & leather goods, granite & similar stones, organic & inorganic chemicals, bulk drugs, gems & jewellery, marine products, agricultural and related products, auto-components etc. There is tremendous unexploited potential in these areas. For example, in the field of textiles, there is an inherent ability to collaborate in area of lifestyle, fashion and apparel, both sides noted, as also the scope for Italian investment especially in the field of infrastructure.
FICCI representatives mentioned that the Italian model of cluster development was being replicated in India in the food processing sector by multilateral agencies and that FICCI was taking active part in promoting greater interaction with Italian counterparts.
Indo-Italian Bilateral Trade and Investment
Presently, Italy is 4th in the list of India’s trading partners among the EU countries and 12th in the list of countries from which foreign direct investment (FDI) has been approved in India since 1991. Total FDI approved from Italy during the period 1991-2004 (September) is of the order of US $ 1.31 billion, that is about 1.95% of the total FDI approved from all countries. The actual inflow of FDI from Italy is of the order of US $ 448 million, that is about 1.83% of the total FDI inflow from all countries. About 1011 foreign collaboration cases have been approved with Italian companies. The top sectors attracting FDI and technology transfer from Italy have been transportation, food processing, metallurgy, textiles, electrical equipments, chemicals, drugs & pharmaceuticals and industrial machinery.