Sitharaman, accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Commerce and DIPP, had gone to Rome to participate in the 19th Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) from May 10-12, which happened after a gap of eight years.
The minister had held discussions with her counterpart Carlo Calenda and both sides vowed to improve the bilateral relationship including trade and commerce.
Indian ambassador to Italy, Anil Wadhwa, said, “During the official-level meeting, both countries agreed to promote trade, commerce and investment. Italy expressed its interest to invest in ‘Make in India’ projects, Digital India, Startup India plans and in sectors such as auto components, automobiles, textiles, machinery, renewable energy, smart cities, railways, food processing etc.”
According to Wadhwa, Sitharaman also paid a visit to a railway coach factory in Caserta city (South Italy) which had been acquired by Titagarh Wagons in 2015.
In a business meeting organised by the Indian embassy and attended by about 80 CEOs of top Italian companies like Ducati, Enel, Ferrero, Fiat and others, Sitharaman urged Italian companies to invest in India.
Italy will soon provide India a draft action plan containing business and investment proposals. The previous JCEC meeting with Italy was held in New Delhi in 2009. The visit by Sitharaman immediately after the Italian business delegation visited India signifies New Delhi’s intent to revive the relationship stalled due to the marine issue.
India’s trade with Italy during 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 was $9.32 billion, $8.28 billion and $8.80 billion, respectively.