Reduce tarrifs, duties on import of wines: Italy

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (UNI) The Italian government has asked for reduction in tariffs and duties levied on the import of wines from India and said the move would lead to strengthening of trade ties between the two countries.

''We need 'some sign' from the Indian government. We have discussed the matter of high taxes with the Indian side but no solution has been reached of now,'' Italian Agriculture Minister Paolo De Castro told UNI on the sidelines of the IFOWS 2008.

Indo-Italian trade has increased 43 per cent to 6.3 billion dollars during 2006-07 compared to last year, but the share of wines remains negligable, he added.

The Indian wine industry has witnessed a CAGR of over 25 per cent during the last three years in the premium wine segment, mainly fuelled by the strong growth in the domestic wine consumption.

Sensing the opportunity, companies from South Africa, Spain and Italy are moving in with their ranges.

According to estimates, Indians consume a total of over 5.26 lakh cases (each case measuring nine litres) annually. The figure is expected to touch nine million cases by 2010.

India also plans to import food processing products, agri machineries and post-harvesting technologies from Italy.

The Minister also expressed willingness to share technology for setting up wineries in India.

India is a leading trade partner of Italy in the EU and the balance of trade has been in India's favour since 1988.

India and Italy had yesterday signed an agreement for cooperation in the agri-food sector, committing themselves to its promotion.

Italian Food Processing Industry is the second manufacturing sector of the country and the first industry sector in Europe, which has a turnover of 170 billion euros with 35 million employees and 33,000 companies.

Italy is also the world's largest exporter of food processing machinery and equipments followed by Germany and USA.

The agreement also proposes to facilitate creation of a 'Joint Foundation' for exchange of know-how and technology between Indian and Italian Agro Food enterprises for the promotion of the Agro Food Sector.

It will also aim at creation of business joint ventures, support to research and development activities, setting up of Agro-Food Parks etc in India. It also provides creation of an Agro Food Park in India within a period of 18 months from the date of signing the memorandum.


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