Cultural event from Italy to be presented in Coimbatore in 2014

There are several areas of cooperation between Italy and Coimbatore and the scope for this is vast, Italy’s Ambassador Daniele Mancini said here on Tuesday.

The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, and the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a meeting on “India and Italy Emerging Opportunities”.

Mr. Mancini said that a cultural event from Italy will be presented in Coimbatore in 2014. Further, if Coimbatore is interested, “We will find appropriate Italian region or city for twining. This is the third city in India I have proposed for twining,” he told presspersons after the meeting. This will provide opportunities for strengthening the relationship.

Italian companies are interested in coming to new States and tier-two cities, including Coimbatore. Some Italian firms are already present here. The two chambers of commerce can identify specific sectors that can be the areas of focus, he said. Asked about the relationship between India and Italy following the Italian marines and the helicopter deal controversy, he said that the two countries are fostering strategic relationship and overall, the relationship between the two countries is strong and vibrant. There will be significant rebound of the relationship when the issues are solved, he said.

He said at the meeting that India represented for Italy a country of untapped potential. Though the volume of trade has increased between the two countries over the years, the rate of trade between the two countries used to be higher in real terms earlier. This situation needs to be addressed.

Italy is very strong in the manufacturing sector. Nearly 43 per cent of its exports to India is machinery and equipment. It has strengths in sectors such as biotechnology, nano technology, infrastructure, and renewable energy. From being just trade partners, Italy is now making investments in India. Italian companies can provide the small and medium-scale businesses here technology and examples of best practices. Industrial associations in the two countries can work together in these areas.

Compared to Chennai, Pune or Bangalore, the number of Italian industries here is less and it needs to be studied if there is room for more Italian companies to invest here. Earlier, Coimbatore was a hub for Italian companies in the textile sector. Now, there are more areas such as renewable energy and machine tools. “We can have a special mission coming here with focus on specific sectors,” he said.

Sauro Mezzetti, Chairman of the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said some of the areas of focus during the recent years are leather, textiles, alternative energy, infrastructure, machine tools, and food technology. Cultural understanding and cooperation can be promoted.

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