India, Italy for balanced, fair Indo-EU free trade agreement
India and Italy have discussed progress of talks on the proposed free trade agreement between New Delhi and EU and hope for its early conclusion, the commerce ministry said on Thursday
India and Italy have discussed progress of talks on the proposed free trade agreement between New Delhi and the European Union (EU) and hope for its early conclusion, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.
In January last year, India and the EU resumed negotiations for a free trade agreement, investment protection and Geographical Indications (GI). Italy is a member of the EU.
The issue came up for discussion in the meeting of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Foreign Office Antonio Tajani here on April 12.
"The ministers underlined the importance of achieving a free, balanced and fair free trade agreement and hoped that it would be concluded soon," it said.
They also agreed to the convening of the next session of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) in Rome in the last week of September.
Tajani suggested the formation of a Joint Working Group in the strategic areas such as space, technology, defence and agriculture to increase cooperation.
Tajani suggested strengthening the parliamentary friendship group diplomacy between the parliaments of the two countries and exploring scope for having a cyber dialogue.
Goyal also emphasised on enhancing the bilateral cooperation in the field of clean energy to achieve sustainability to mitigate the negative impact of climate change.
Goyal is on an official visit in Rome. He is accompanied by a large business delegation which includes Indian industry and exporters from different sectors.
Meanwhile addressing businesses of India and Italy here, Goyal said that huge investment opportunities are there in India for Italian companies.
On India's exports, he said that India exported goods and services worth USD 676 billion in 2021-22. "We just closed March 31, 2022-23 with an even bigger record of about USD 765 billion." He expressed hope that the exports would reach USD 2 trillion by 2030.
India-Italy bilateral trade stood at over USD 16 billion in 2022. During April-January 2022-23, India's exports to Italy stood at USD 7.15 billion, while imports aggregated at USD 4.6 billion. The trade gap is in favour of India.
Italy is the 17th largest foreign investor in India, with a cumulative FDI of USD 3.25 billion between April 2000 and December 2022. It accounts for about 0.52 per cent of the total FDI India received during the period.
The main items of Indian exports to Italy are ready-made garments, leather, iron ore, motor vehicles, textiles, chemicals, gems and jewellery. Main imported items include machinery, machine tools, metallurgical products and engineering items.
Around 140 large Italian companies are active in India. Some of the major Italian companies that have invested in India are FIAT Auto, Heinz Italia, Italcementi, Necchi Compressori, Perfetti, Lavazza, ENI, SAI India, Isagro (Asia) Agrochemicals and Piaggio.
Indian companies present in Italy are in sectors such as IT, electronics, pharmaceuticals, automobile, textile and engineering.
The prominent Indian companies operating in Italy include TCS, Wipro, Engineers India Limited, L&T, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ranbaxy, and Raymonds.
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