Mumbai will be hub of new Asia, says Italian ambassador Vincenzo De Luca ahead of visit …

MUMBAI: Ahead of his three-day visit to Mumbai, Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca said that post the Covid-19 pandemic, there would be a new era of possibilities and the city would be the hub of a new Asia.
Green economy, energy transition and waste to energy will be the key focus areas of his visit.
De Luca said that they were also working on a proposal of twinning between Mumbai and Italian cities to create an operational framework of wide reciprocal collaboration.
De Luca will be on a three-day visit to Mumbai starting Monday where he will meet top industrialists and businesspersons. He will also meet governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and environment and protocol minister Aaditya Thackeray.
This will be Luca’s first visit to Mumbai since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in India in March 2020.
“I have been looking forward to this visit for so long. Italian economic growth is expected to reach a record figure of +6 per cent in 2021 and more than 4 per cent in 2022. After the great change caused by the outbreak of the pandemic, we are on the verge of a new era of possibilities and I think Mumbai will be the hub of a new Asia,” De Luca said.
De Luca will address a lecture on ‘Relevance of sustainability for the future of business’ together with Bocconi SDA University with 50 students and link live to the Bocconi headquarter in Milan, Italy.
De Luca said that Italy was looking to work on waste to energy projects in Mumbai with the BMC. “In the economic field, green economy, energy transition and waste to energy will be among the main focuses of the visit. There has already been a preliminary dialogue with BMC on this and there are many steps forwards that will be taken. But my intention is to widen the cooperation also in tourism, fashion, culture and business,” De Luca told TOI.
“Here in Mumbai, Italy is present with a wide range of institutions. The Consulate General, the Italian Trade Agency, the Italian tourism board, our Import Credit Agency SACE. Mumbai also hosts one of the biggest bilateral Italian chambers of commerce with hundreds of Indo-Italian enterprises represented. The very last meeting of my visit in Mumbai will be with NIIF (National Investment and Infrastructure Fund) and its Italian counterpart CDP. The two funds have signed an MoU to co-finance relevant projects. We will be assessing the state of play of this cooperation while paving the way towards new possible investments, which represent, at the end of the day, the very backbone of the growing path of our bilateral relations with India and with Maharashtra,” he added.
De Luca said that the Indo-Pacific would be the new frontier for enterprises, business, culture and style. “Whenever I come here to Mumbai, it reminds me of Milan, a vibrant city with exquisite restaurants, events, and businesses. Mumbai together with Milan is a connecting point in the ideal line that goes from New York to Tokyo. Our two prime ministers met in November 2020 and signed a comprehensive plan of action for future cooperation, an agenda of our priorities of the future. Green and circular economy, green energy and energetic transition, railway infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, food processing and lifestyle. Italy is ready to put its best enterprises, know-how and energy to enhance this collaboration also in Maharashtra, a state with which we intend to build new bridges of economic partnership and people to people exchanges in every sector of cooperation,” De Luca said.
De Luca will also attend a reading of the ‘Divine Comedy’ in different languages at the Asiatic Society. “Dante not only crosses boundaries and territories, but also time and generations: this will be witnessed by the readings in several Indian languages by the students of Italian at the Center for European studies of the University of Mumbai,” De Luca said.


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