New Delhi: India and Italy on Tuesday discussed easing of the business visa regime, with Rome stating it had already started working towards streamlining the process.
The issue of putting in place an effective visa regime for businessmen and professionals was raised during a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in New Delhi.
Giulio, who is on a visit to India, is heading a business delegation mainly representing the construction sector.
The Italian Foreign Minister, according to an official, noted that visa was a critical issue and said Italy was working on streamlining the process.
Indian professionals particularly from IT sector face hassles while seeking visa for visiting European countries.
Both the countries had agreed in 2011 to explore the possibility of using the certification from industry chambers to endorse the credentials for issuing business visa.
Sharma, during his visit to Rome in February 2011, had raised concerns over grant of visa to which Italy had assured that flexibilities will be explored for granting long-term multiple entry visas under the new Schengen visa regime.
During the meeting, the Indian minister also stressed the need for expediting the process for setting up joint working groups on various sectors.
In 2011, both the sides had agreed to set up such groups in different sectors including infrastructure, manufacturing, ICT, innovation, pharmaceuticals and leather, for mutual cooperation.
The bilateral trade between India and Italy stood at $9 billion during 2010-11.