India and Italy

By | December 25, 2021

Collaborating technically and technologically in all traditional commodities and especially in frontier technological areas relating to the knowledge economy, as well as investing in India, means taking advantage of a country with great opportunities, which does not necessarily require investment capital but offers the sharing of its market internal know-how, technologies and foreign technical collaborations to achieve a shared and harmonious development on foreign markets.

The Italian system has begun to understand and intercept the spectacular take-off of the Indian economy since 2005 and has found itself more backward than its main competitors. However, the traditional manufacturing sectors and the vast new fields of the knowledge economy represent a series of propitious opportunities to catch up with the delays of the past. The two governments have officially expressed the will to double bilateral trade, bringing it to 10 billion euros by 2010.

The positive evolution of Italian-Indian political, economic, commercial and technological relations, to the point of making them become relations of ‘strategic partnership’, laid the foundations for the fifth India-European Union summit, held in November 2004 in The Hague. On that occasion, the Italian state included India among the priority ‘strategic countries’ for the three-year period 2005-07. The first official cultural initiative, to highlight the history of trade relations between the two countries, was the exhibition India and Ancient Rome: export-import of the past, present, future at the Via Ostiense Museum in Rome, curated by the Indian Embassy in Italy, the Ministry for Productive Activities, the Indo Italian Institute for Trade and Technology and the FIEI (Italian Federation of Importers Exporters). In February 2005, President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi made a decisive state visit to India, reciprocated in June by Indian Foreign Minister Shri Natwar Singh, before continuing to Brussels for the ratification of the India-European Union agreement. On that occasion, the minister, speaking at the Europe-India seminar : collaboration in the era of globalization at the Chamber of Deputies, invited Italy to be the Indian gateway to the European Union in the field of the knowledge economy.

Following these political initiatives, in November 2005 the Banco Popolare di Verona and Novara Group signed a collaboration agreement with the State of Gujarat and another with the Bombay Stock Exchange. In 2006, the municipality of Legnago, 35 km south of Verona, at the invitation of InvestiAVerona, agreed to host the Indo Italian Knowledge Management Center and the Indo Italian Training Center for International Markets, which will be built by 2009 and to which it will be joined by the Euro Indian Knowledge Management Center. This will result in a collaboration in almost all the most advanced subjects and sectors of the knowledge economy and knowledge management in the vast business, institutional, training, services and mutual cooperation, research and scientific collaboration fields. technical and technological.

Also in 2005, Confindustria and the Confederation of Indian industry promoted two missions in India and two in Italy in the infrastructure sector. In parallel between Confindustria and the Federation of Indian chambers of commerce and industry, an intense collaboration has been developed in the field of fashion and design.

Another important step was, in 2006, the sixth European Union – India summit in Helsinki, where the negotiations for the creation of a free trade area between the European Union and India were formally inaugurated; the president of Confindustria, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, was called to speak on behalf of the entire European industry. In November 2006, a delegation of over 100 Indian entrepreneurs, managers of banks and institutions was led to Italy by the Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Kamal Nath, in order to learn about the strengths of the Italian industrial fabric: Parma for the supply chain agro-industrial, Turin for auto components, Vicenza for the goldsmith and mechanics sector, Florence and Prato for the tanning industry and the textile sector. On this occasion, the Italian Ministry of International Trade officially indicated India as the focus countryfor 2007. On February 16, 2007, Videocon, the Indian electronics giant, signed a contract with the Campania Region to set up a plant for the production of liquid crystal displays in Rocca d’Evandro, in the province of Caserta, with a investment of approximately 1.2 billion euros. The plant, which will be operational in 2009, will employ 1,100 employees, of which around 100 are involved in Research & Development.¬†For India 2013, please check

As part of the special program for the promotion of Made in Italy in India, through industrial and commercial collaboration in the sectors of mechanics, capital goods and high technology, the state visit to India of the first Minister Romano Prodi, with a delegation of over 450 institutions, entrepreneurs and banks, the largest ever to arrive in India. Going beyond the major economic poles, New Delhi and Mumbai, stops were also made in Kolkata (Calcutta) and Bengaluru. The first meeting of the Indus-Italian CEO Forum was held in New Delhi, co-chaired by Cordero di Montezemolo and Ratan Tata, president of the automotive group of the same name. The Forum involved about twenty great entrepreneurs and CEOs of the most important companies of the two countries, identifying priorities and defining wide-ranging lines of action with the aim of creating a real economic alliance between Italy and India. As a conclusion, it seems appropriate to report the results of a research conducted by the Asia Observatory of Bologna on the presence of Italian companies in India, from which it emerges that the Italian delay, not only in investments but also in exports, seems to be about to be filled. The number of Italian companies registered in India is 313 units, of which 132 involved in productive investments and 181 in investments in services. Factories represent 42%, concentrated in the mechanical, textile and automotive sectors, the most typical and well-known ones of Made in Italy. The positions of electronics and information technology are marginal: 7% of the total. 77% of the presences in India derive from companies from northern Italy, with a greater weight in the North-East than in the North-West. 38% of the Italian manufacturing companies that have invested in India are small-medium in size: a sign of dynamism that the inertia of previous years did not let us imagine. The Italian presences are concentrated in the Indian states that gravitate around Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai (Madras), Bengaluru. An analysis of the technological sectors where collaboration between Italy and India can be promoted or strengthened cannot fail to take into account the papers known as Technology vision for India up to 2020, produced, on behalf of the Indian government, by TIFAC (Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council), a group of experts engaged in long-term assessments and forecasts on areas deemed strategic for the Indian economy and the future well-being of the populations in urban and rural areas that report to more than 588,000 villages. In these areas, the Italian efforts for the future strengthening of ties in the R&D sector with India could be successfully oriented. In particular, the strong sectors of Italian R&D that can be exploited in India are: high energy physics; fuel cells; nanotechnologies; advanced materials; functional genomics; neuroscience; stem cell application; applications to agriculture. A particular effort must be devoted to the creation of joint research laboratories, especially in sectors in which in India there are skills whose excellence has long been recognized internationally, such as ICT, biotechnology, space. The research structures are characterized by significant sharing of human and instrumental resources and therefore allow for the creation of more effective cooperation relationships, with the possibility of obtaining common results with high added value.

India and Italy