§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 16 May 2002]: DTI Ministers are regularly in touch with the Italian Government bilaterally and in EU and other multilateral fora on a range of issues. For example, my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business visited Rome in November 2001 where he had meetings with, among others, his Italian opposite number. DTI Ministers meet their Italian counterparts at EU Internal Market, Consumer Affairs and Tourism Councils four times a year and at Industry and Energy Councils, Research Councils, Employment Councils and Telecomms Councils twice a year. Officials are frequently in touch with their Italian counterparts at all levels, on a wide range of subjects.