Source: The Economic Times, Apr 26, 2017
NEW DELHI: Riding on the recent efforts to introduce GST that is being viewed as a major economic reform to attract foreign capital, Italy — Europe’s second biggest manufacturing hub — is sending its biggest trade and investor delegation to India this week, seeking greater participation in the machinery, automative, ICT, infrastructure and textile sectors.
Led by Italy’s Deputy Trade Minister, the delegation of 60 Italian companies will explore business and investment opportunities in India, according to Italy’s Trade Commissioner to India Francesco Pensabene.
Italy is currently the 13th largest investor in India with a presence of 400 firms and has a market share of 1% among foreign investors here. Total Italian FDI between 2000 and 2016 was around 2 billion euros.
“Italian companies are interested in exactly the same sectors that have been identified by the current government as priority areas — smart cities, clean and green tech, ICT besides machinery for various industries from leather to marbles to food processing,” said Pensabene. Last year, Indo-Italian trade stood at 7.6 billion euros.
The Italian official pointed out that implementation of GST will lead to harmonisation of taxes, which will enhance foreign capital into India, including from Italy.
What’s interesting is the fact that this Trade mission will be followed within weeks by a Joint Economic Commission in Rome where the Indian side will be led by the Commerce Minister, Italian Ambassador to India Lorenzo Angeloni told ET.
“2017 will be a big year for Italian investors in India. This year, India is regarded as the most important destination for Italian companies. The visit by this delegation is most timely as India has a stable growing economy, stable political environment and major reforms like GST are underway. Road shows about India in Italy are also being planned,” the envoy said.
The two countries want to explore future areas of cooperation in defence, hydrocarbon and even real estate. Italy is among India’s top 5 trading partners in the EU.