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BW Businessworld

Italy Plans To Support Government's 'Make In India' Campaign

In an exclusive interview, Michele Scannavini, President of the Italian Trade Commission talks to BW Businessworld on Italy's support to India on the latter's Make in India campaign

In an exclusive interview, Michele Scannavini, President of the Italian Trade Commission talks to BW Businessworld's Brij Pahwa on Italy's support to India on the latter's Make in India campaign. Scannavini was a part of a large Italian delegation that visited India to ramp up ties with the country. Indo- Italian ties had suffered during the last few years due to Enrica Lexie and Augusta Westland corruption controversies.

What is the purpose of this delegation visiting to India?
This is the biggest delegation to come to India from Italy. We are here with more than 60 companies, 7 banks, 4 research universities and with six associations of more than 150 people. Our idea is to give more visibility to Italian companies, products and technologies to participate in the big Industrial Development that is underway in India today. We are going to do this through a forum in Delhi and an Industrial Forum in Dubai. We will have more than 800 bilateral business-to-business meetings in which Italian companies will meet with Indian companies. We are really hoping to find a way to cooperate together.

Is it something to do with the trade balance between India and Italy, as India has always been on the positive side of the trade. Is this a measure to take up Italy's exports to India as well?
Yes, we want to take up the challenge. It is a very important opportunity for Italy to explore more of India and also for India to explore Italy. It is going to be a bi-lateral opportunity.

In the past few years, cases like Enrica Lexie and Augusta Westland have hit a bump in the Indo-Italian trade activities. Last year Sushma Swaraj visited Italy to ramp up the trade talks. Do you think the cases are still affecting the trade ties or are we on a solid ground now?
This is a matter of the past. Talking of the relations between the two countries, the numbers are only getting better and better. The first two months of 2017 have been very positive for the bilateral ties. The mission is to give a fresh start to the economic and diplomatic relationship. There have been problems in the past but the present is in a good momentum and the future looks exciting.

Since Italy has been very vocal about 'Make in India', what are your specific plans to associate with the campaign?
Specific plans are related to 5 sectors which are Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Construction and Machinery. We can offer technological products in these sectors and contribute to 'Make in India'.

Any comments on the future of Indo-Italian trade?
It is very bright and exciting. We have invested more than 3 times over the last year to promote our products. We have also increased our export to 30 per cent over the last year.

Any fear related to policies like Demonetisation in the future?
There is more optimism in the steps of Indian Government to take the trades up.

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