India and Italy recently hold a 21st Session of Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC).

  • The current session was co-chaired by Piyush Goyal, Commerce & Industry Minister and Mr. Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Italy.
  • Both leaders held discussions on bilateral trade & Investment and economic cooperation across the areas of Textile, Food Processing, Railways, Leather, Start-ups and promotion of SMEs. All these sectors play significant role in growth of economy and employment generation.
  • Both countries also discussed bilateral market access issues and non-tariff barriers in order to facilitate trade & investment.
  • They also reviewed the outcomes of India-EU leaders Summit in Porto, Portugal was also reviewed.
  • Other issues raised by India were- Mutual recognition of COWIN Vaccine Certificate, opening of Travel restrictions, long duration of Business Visas and Portability of social security benefits for Indians working in Italy.

India & Italy Economic Cooperation

The Bilateral trade has increased by 12 times in 20 years. It has increased from EUR 708 million to EUR 8.5 billion in between 1991 and 2011. However, bilateral trade between the countries started declining since 2012. In the year 2017, both the countries had signed a MoU to enhance bilateral cooperation in the health sector. The memorandum of understanding envisages cooperation in health sector by pooling technical, financial and human resources. Activities carried under this MoU include exchange & training of doctors, setting health care facilities and promoting business development opportunities in pharmaceuticals. Italy is the 5th largest trading partner of India in European Union and 25th across the World during 2017–18.

Backdrop

The last session or 20th Session of India-Italy Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation was held on February 26–27, 2019 in New Delhi. It was co-chaired by Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Michele Gerai, Deputy Minister of Economic Development.