India and Italy will work towards a more liberalised business visa regime in either country, which will lead to even greater levels of cooperation and partnership between the business communities of the two countries.
This was announced by commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma after talks with visiting Italian foreign minister Guilio Terzi di Sant' Agata in New Delhi today. Both sides also agreed to announce a Joint Business Forum in the upcoming visit of the Indian minister to Italy.
Sharma also set a deadline for joint working groups to prepare their recommendation for upcoming meeting of India-Italy Joint Economic Commission to be held in June 2012.
India and Italy have five working groups covering infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation and science, ICT and pharmaceuticals.
The two sides will now explore the possibility of two more working groups on tourism and hospitality and agro-processing.
During Sharma's visit to Rome in February 2011 the Italian side had assured full cooperation in realising a liberalised business visa regime, within Schengen parameters.
India is giving Italian citizens multiple entry long duration (one year) business visas. Sharma suggested that apex business chambers should be the nodal agency for certifying the candidates for long duration business visa.
The Italian minister assured to streamline the process of visa and informed that already there is a significant rise in number of business visas.
Both sides emphasized the need to strengthen institutional arrangements between the two countries. Sharma informed the Italian minister about a tie-up between Milan Polytechnic and institutions in India in the field of design. India will also participate as partner country in Milan Expo 2015.