India-Italy target to double trade to €15b euro achievable

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Italy today exuded confidence that its trade with India would double to 15 billion euro by 2015 in view of rising trade between the two countries.

"I am confident that the trade target will be achievable as we hope the economic scenario will improve in Italy and Europe as a whole which will increase the production and exports to India," Italian Trade Commissioner to New Delhi Amedeo Scarpa said here.

"Also, we expect there will be more exports from India to Italy as your economy is expected to grow at over 6 per cent this fiscal," he added.

In 2012, the bilateral trade between India and Italy was 7.2 billion euro.

Indian exports to Italy include textiles, gems and jewellery, pharmaceuticals and coffee. The imports comprise machinery and capitals goods, non-electrical equipment, engineering items, metallurgical products and chemical and pharmaceutical items.

On finalising the proposed India-EU FTA, Scarpa said: "It is our desire that if the pact could be concluded by this year-end before the General Elections in India next year."

India and the EU, which are negotiating a free trade pact since 2007, have yet to reach a consensus on vexed issues.

While the 27-nation bloc is pressing hard for significant duty cut in automobile sector in the proposed Broad based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), the Indian industry is strongly opposed to such a move.

India is seeking a good package on services including cross border flow of IT and ITeS, movement of Indian professionals and grant of data secure status.

Asked if Italian companies have expressed interest in investing in single-brand retail, Scarpa said: "Yes, there are companies which are interested. We have received some solicitation (from an Italian company) for investing in food sector in India."

In January 2012, India raised the FDI cap in single-brand retail to 100 per cent from 51 per cent.

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