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Narendra Modi holds talks with Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, discusses ways to boost bilateral trade and investment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the launch of next phase of the India-Italy bilateral industrial research and development cooperation program.

Modi addressed the India-Italy Technology Summit in New Delhi along with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte and discussed a range of issues, including ways to boost cooperation in key areas such as trade and investment.

Conte arrived in New Delhi On Tuesday morning and was warmly welcomed by Modi.

Speaking at the summit, Modi said that India is taking IT software power to the next level and "developing technological temperament from scientific temper".

He said that digital payments are increasing at a speed of 250 crore transactions per month. "In the past 4 years in India, the price of 1 GB data has reduced by more than 90 percent," the prime minister said.

The prime minister informed that India and Italy have agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of LAD – Life Style Accessories Design. "There will also be a special focus on the leather sector, transportation and automobile design, he said.

 Narendra Modi holds talks with Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, discusses ways to boost bilateral trade and investment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. PTI

He said that the goal of the government is to ensure that the results of the research & development programmes do not get limited to research centres only, but reach the public. "That's why I say that science is universal, but technology has to be local," Modi said.

Conte said that he had a fruitful meeting with Modi where the heads of the two countries reviewed all the areas of our bilateral partnership. "Regarding our economic partnership, we've explored possible Italian contribution to 'Make In India', Conte said.

The highlight of the day-long visit is the Italian prime minister's participation at the 24th edition of the India-Italy Technology Summit, which is being organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The summit will focus on a number of areas, including healthcare, aerospace, education, clean technology, renewable energy and information and communication technology.

The bilateral trade between the countries increased to $10.5 billion in 2017-18 from $8.8 billion in the previous fiscal.

Italy is India's fifth largest trading partner in the European Union and the annual trade turnover between the two countries was$10.4 billion in 2017-18. Over 600 Italian companies are operating in India.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 31, 2018 11:26:10 IST

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