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President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said India was keen to leverage Italian technology and investment for the growth and development of the country.
The president said this when Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Gentiloni’s visit comes 10 years after former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi came to India.
Kovind said the visit had special significance for India-Italy engagement as the two countries would be celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2018.
“The economic partnership between India and Italy is strong. However, there is potential to do more. India’s reform initiatives, including efforts to improve the ease of doing business and the GST, offer business opportunities to Italian companies,” the president said, adding, “Infrastructure development in India itself is a $ 1 trillion opportunity.”
Kovind said he was happy to note that Italian companies wanted to invest in the railways, auto, renewable energy and food processing sectors in India. “Our relations are anchored in the shared values of democracy and rule of law. We have a large Indian diaspora in Italy. India deeply appreciates Italy’s recognition of their contribution to socio-economic progress. Our people-to-people connect is ever growing. There are over 2,000 Indian students in Italy today. With so much that we share and jointly aspire for, our ties must continue to strengthen,” he said.
The president expressed happiness over the participation of Italy in the World Food India 2017 as a “Focus Country”. Italy is known as the design capital of the world, he said, commending the initiative of the Italian PM to celebrate the “Day of Italian Design in the World”. “This year the event, held in over 100 cities across the globe, was a big success. And we look forward to jointly celebrating the event in India next year,” Kovind said.