PM holds series of bilaterals on ASEM sidelines

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Beijing, Oct 24 (UNI) India and Italy resolved to step up industrial cooperation and bilateral relations as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today held discussions with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi on wide-ranging issues of mutual interests on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) here.

Dr Singh, who arrived here from Japan last night to attend the two-day summit of the ASEM, kick started a hectic official engagement with a bilateral meeting with Mongolian President Namaryn Enkhbayar.

His last bilateral was with Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Tan Dung.

Mr N Ravi, Joint Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, told mediapersons that the Italian Prime Minister had expressed keen interest in setting up manufacturing units in India to take advantage of the low cost of manufacturing.

He suggested that a meet of CEOs of companies of both the countries be held to improve the industrial cooperation between the two countries and examine the possibility of setting up more manufacturing units in India.

It was decided to synergise the strength of Italy in designing and technology with the highly intelligent manpower in India.

Tourism was identified as a major area to promote people-to-people contact between Italy and India. It was suggested that both the countries launch television campaigns in each other's country.

At his meeting with the Mongolian President, Dr Singh recalled the spiritual relationship between the two countries.

Mr Enkhbayar identified agriculture and biotechnology as a possible area of cooperation with India.

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