To revive its ties, Italy is keen to support the ‘Make in India’ drive and hopes to take bilateral trade to nearly 8.5 billion euros in 2018, visiting deputy minister for economic development Ivan Scalfarotto said in Mumbai today. Scalfarotto is leading a high profile delegation of 60 Italian companies to the country to explore business and investment opportunities.
“We have a long-standing relationship with India and we want to strengthen it further especially when it is growing at over 7 per cent. With this visit, we are hopeful that bilateral trade would reach to 8.5 billion euros by 2018,” he told reporters on the sidelines an investment summit. He said Rome is committed to contribute to improve the ties, and share her expertise and know-how in key areas such as green technologies, renewables, food processing, textiles, SMEs and infrastructure.
“India, with her emphasis on infrastructure, manufacturing, IT, and clean energy, among others, is a huge opportunity for our businesses.
“There are already 600 Italian companies operating here and we want to further strengthen our ties,” he said.
The minister further said in the automobiles sector, Italian component manufacturers are ready to offer their knowledge and advanced technologies for hybrid, electric, fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles. Scalfarotto said Italy, which is the second largest manufacturing economy in the EU after Germany, has so far invested nearly 2.2 billion euros in India while the latter’s contribution in their FDI is around 110 million euros only.
When asked whether there has been an improvement in ease of doing business here, he said, “though things have changed to some extent, there are some areas that still need to be addressed. Government’s policy on single taxation under GST, emphasis on creating infrastructure, among others are positive signals.”
Addressing the investor forum, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis assured the delegation that his administration will provide all necessary assistance and infrastructure to facilitate Italian companies to set up businesses in the state.
“Maharashtra is growing at more than the national growth rate. We are making huge investments in creating infrastructure. Along with this, we are trying to streamline our processes to ensure single-window clearances. We already have 130 Italian companies operating in the state and we expect more and more companies to come to the state,” he said.