Italian majors Gucci, Armani plan stores in India

Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Terming India’s decision to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail as a ‘revolution’, Italian Trade Commissioner Erica Di Giovancarlo said, businessmen of both the countries can collaborate in sectors like automobiles, fashion and textiles through joint ventures. And many Italian companies are showing interest in setting up stores in India.

“This decision (allowing 100 per cent FDI in single–brand) of the government is a revolution in this market. I am sure it will catch interest of lot of companies…,” Giovancarlo says. The decision has paved the way for global Italian chains like Armani, Gucci and Prada to have full ownership of their India operations.

Italy, a world leader in fashion designing, is interested in setting up businesses here. “Italy is known for fashion. Indian designs are growing very fast. It will be interesting to see how two countries can match. We are working hard on this,” she said. She added that in order to bolster trade ties between the two countries, Italy is also organising a three-day ‘Expo Riva Schuh Fair’ here from July 5, 2012.

The exhibition will offer high-end products which include bags, belts, footwear and leather accessories. “It’s a good meeting point of local needs and Italian products,” she said. However, the third-largest economy in Europe, will wait for the economic situation to recover in its region, before making investments here. The Italian companies, mainly the SMEs are facing tough situation due to slowdown. “We have to wait as situation in Italy is very tough but the interest in this country (India) is very high,” Giovancarlo added. Gilateral trade between India and Italy stood at $ 8.8 billion (over Rs 48,000 crores) during 2010-11.

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