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Solid & tangible economic partnership with India is top priority - Romano Prodi

Feb '07
Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy
"Developing a solid and tangible economic partnership with India is my top priority. We have to use all our instruments in order to increase our trade relations. Political and economic dialogue between India and Italy will be more encouraging for European Union (EU) and more encouraging for me," said His Excellency Mr Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy.

In his Special Address at the CEO's Roundtable Session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, Mr Prodi said: "India exerts an extremely powerful attraction on us in Italy. My ambition is to transform this attraction, which I would say is almost "natural", into a more solid and tangible economic partnership. We want to expand our presence here. And we also want you to increase your presence in Italy."

The Prime Minister said that given the potential for trade between the two countries, the current level of Indo-Italian bilateral trade is "absolutely not enough". "We have to move this forward. Both our countries have major synergy. Like India, Italy has a sound base of small and medium enterprises. There must be a strategy to kick off partnership between the Indian and Italian SME sector," he emphasised.

Mr Prodi said that as a head of the government, but also as an economist, I would like to emphasise the fact that trade is the starting point in any economic partnership, to be developed and consolidated. Italian companies including the small and medium size enterprises, are now becoming internationalised and wish to become established in the emerging markets.

The Italian government is helping them and accompanying them abroad, as in this case. He said that the Indian businesses, which are growing on the domestic and international markets, should make the European Union as the first commercial partner. "Italy is in one of the leading positions. Italy is putting herself forward as India's "entrance gate" to Europe, for both goods and services," he said.

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Confederation of Indian Industry, India

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