Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will hold a series of meetings with leaders and top CEOs of France and Italy next week during his three-day visit to these two countries to further boost trade and investment ties.
The minister will be on an official visit to France (Paris) and Italy (Rome) on April 11-13. He will be accompanied by a delegation of top Indian CEOs. In France, Goyal along with Olivier Becht, Minister delegate of Foreign Trade, Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, Government of France, will co-chair the India-France Business Summit on April 11, the commerce ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The summit will focus on various themes, including building a green future, emerging technologies, defence cooperation and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific regions, it added.
Goyal is also scheduled to meet with French business leaders across various sectors and will attend a CEOs roundtable. Both Indian and French ministers will participate in an event that will showcase India’s cultural heritage and soft power and are expected to witness the participation of over 600 dignitaries from the French government, the Indian business diaspora in France and members of the French business community. Goyal will also be interacting with members of the Indian community in Paris. In Rome, the statement said, Goyal would meet Antonio Tajani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“He is scheduled to meet top Italian CEOs for bilateral meetings followed by CEOs Interactive Business Session, where 35 CEOs are likely to participate,” the ministry said, adding this would be followed by a meeting with Adolfo Urso, Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy, who would also interact with Indian CEOs. There are over 1,000 French businesses in India in different sectors, such as defence, ITES, consulting, engineering services, and heavy industry. France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India, with a cumulative FDI of USD 10.5 billion between April 2000 and December 2022. It accounts for about 1.7 per cent of the total FDI (USD 625.3 billion) that India has received during the period.
India-France bilateral trade stood at USD 12.42 billion in 2021-22. During April-January 2022-23, India’s exports to France stood at USD 6.5 billion, while imports aggregated at USD 4.36 billion. The trade gap is in favour of India. In 2021, a dedicated desk was set up by Invest India for investor queries for French businesses. Italy is among India’s top 5 trading partners in the EU. India-Italy bilateral trade stood at over USD 13 billion in 2021-22. During April-January 2022-23, India’s exports to Italy stood at USD 7.15 billion, while imports aggregated at USD 4.6 billion. The trade gap is in favour of India.
Italy is the 17th largest foreign investor in India, with a cumulative FDI of USD 3.25 billion between April 2000 and December 2022. It accounts for about 0.52 per cent of the total FDI India received during the period. The main items of Indian exports to Italy are ready-made garments, leather, iron ore, motor vehicles, textiles, chemicals, gems and jewellery. Main imported items include machinery, machine tools, metallurgical products and engineering items. Around 140 large Italian companies are active in India. Some of the major Italian companies that have invested in India are FIAT Auto, Heinz Italia, Italcementi, Necchi Compressori, Perfetti, Lavazza, ENI, SAI India, Isagro (Asia) Agrochemicals and Piaggio.
Indian companies present in Italy are in sectors such as IT, electronics, pharmaceuticals, automobile, textile and engineering. The prominent Indian companies operating in Italy include Tata, TCS, Wipro, Engineers India Limited, L&T, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ranbaxy, and Raymonds. SBI has a representative office in Milan. Six Italian banks have representation in India. The top sectors attracting FDI inflows from Italy are the automobile industry/ transportation, food processing, metallurgical industry, textiles, electrical equipment and others.