‘India-Italy trade at 15 billion euros by 2015′

October 31st, 2011 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The government Monday said the trade between India and Italy will reach 15 billion euros ($21 billion) by 2015, from a little over six billion euros ($8.50 billion) last year.

“The trade between our countries last year stood at $8.50 billion (6.06 billion euros) and the data till August 2011 shows an impressive growth and reflects optimism,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

The target of 15 billion euros would be achieved by 2015, Sharma said while speaking at the ministerial forum meeting with his Italian counterpart Paolo Romani here.

Sharma said that he would encourage further cooperation between Indian and Italian small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Earlier, the SME sector in India used to be protected and foreign investment was restricted in this sector, but recently we have liberalised this sector to enable its modernisation. Now, the SME sector is open to foreign investment just like any other sector,” he said.

Sharma also stressed on the need for further cooperation between the two countries in the design industry for textiles, leather products and footwear, where Italy is known as a world leader.

“Indian design industry is growing between 23-25 percent every year. In particular, there is need for designers in garment and leather,” he said.

In another development, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries which envisages an India-Italy Business Forum for furthering cooperation in sectors such as automobile, infrastructure, agro-industry, pharmaceuticals, tourism, manufacturing and information communication technology.

The MoU was signed between Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confindustria, the apex business chamber of Italy.

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