New Delhi: The growth in bilateral trade between India and Italy has picked up in recent years and increased by 10 per cent in 2017-18 over the previous fiscal, Italian Trade Agency Chief Executive Piergiorgio Borgorelli said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the India-Italy Technology Summit organised by industry chamber CII in collaboration with India's Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Italian government, Borgorelli said bilateral trade during the first-half the current fiscal had grown by over by over 5 per cent, while Italy's exports to India in this period had risen by over 15 per cent.
The India-Italy bilateral trade stood at $10.5 billion in 2017-18, up from $8.8 billion in the previous fiscal.
Italy is partner country in this year's edition of the DST-organised Technology Summit, reflecting the growing intensity of the bilateral economic relationship, Borgorelli said.
The two-day technology summit that began on Monday focuses on the areas of renewable energy, clean technology, information and communication technology, healthcare, aerospace, education and preservation of cultural heritage.
Borgorelli pointed out that despite a slowdown in trade growth in recent years, the bilateral trade relationship is an old and established one, with over 450 Italian companies operating in India, which is Italy's fifth largest trading partner in the European Union (EU).
"The fixed stock of Italian FDI (foreign direct investment) in India amounts to over Euro 2 billion," he said.
He said that the focus themes of the Technology Summit would become the main pillars of future economic bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
Inaugurating the conference earlier, India's Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan called for promoting high quality collaborative research projects across the value chain with a focus on boosting technological entrepreneurship.
"We must look at developing competitive products together. India and Italy are already part of great innovative collaborations such as the Mission Innovation to accelerate global innovation in clean energy. We need to promote that," he said.
Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Michele Geraci said Italy looked forward to greater collaboration with India in science and technology.