Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
31-October-2011 17:43 IST
India Italy Trade Cooperations Gains Momentum
Government Considering Raising FDI Limit in Single Brand Retail
The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma has expressed confidence that India and Italy will reach the target of Euro 15 bn. Speaking at Ministerial Forum: ‘Indo-Italian Cooperation: Addressing Challenges, Strengthening Ties’ , here today, Shri Sharma emphasized that Trade between our countries last year stood at US$ 8.50 billion and the data till August 2011 “shows an impressive growth and reflect optimism yet doesn’t reflect our true potential which is far greater.” Mr. Paolo Romani, Minister for Economic Development, Italy also addressed the gathering.
Shri Sharma also informed that India allows 51 per cent FDI in single brand retail and government is considering the ways of raising this limit.
Shri Sharma said that the micro, small and medium enterprises sector is the backbone of Indian economy, contributing 8% of our gross domestic product, 45% of manufactured output and 40% of our exports. “Earlier, the SME sector in India used to be protected and foreign investment was restricted in this sector, but recently we have liberalized this sector to enable its modernization and now the SME sector is open to foreign investment just like any other sector. We view SMEs as incubators of technology and innovation and would encourage cooperative partnerships to develop between Indian and Italian SMEs” he added.
Shri Sharma said that the Indian design industry is growing between 23 and 25 per cent every years, and the economic rise of India has created a strong consumption demand for various kinds of clothing, textiles, home furnishings, leather products, including footwear. In particular, there is need designers in garment and leather – two areas where Italy is a global leader. It is a step in this direction that has prompted India and Italy to organise a leather fair in Milan in 2012, he said. In the field of industrial design, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Milan Polytechnic Consortium have signed an MoU for building synergies in design sensitization and capacity building. in May 2011 after Shri Sharma’s visit to Milan.
An MoU was signed between the two countries which envisages that the India-Italy Business Forum will foster cooperation between the two countries in sectors such as automotive, infrastructure, agro-food and agro-industry, textile and leather, pharmaceuticals, design, tourism, manufacturing, ICT and higher education. It will also actively seek to promote business interactions between SMEs of both countries.