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International Relations

Visit of Prime Minister of Italy to India

  • 31 Oct 2018
  • 7 min read

The Prime Minister of Italy paid an Official Visit to India.

  • Indian and Italian Prime Ministers held bilateral talks and addressed the final session of the Technology Summit in Delhi, which was co-hosted by India and Italy.

Outcome of Visit

  • India-Italy Technology Summit
    • India and Italy co-hosted the 24th edition of the Technology Summit organized by the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry.
    • Italy is the partner country of this year’s Technology Summit.
    • The Technology Summit aims at furthering cooperation in clean technologies, renewable energy, Information and Communication Technologies, healthcare, aerospace, education and cultural heritage.
    • The India-Italy bilateral Industrial Research and Development Cooperation programme was announced during the summit. It would help industry and research institutions to work together without any hindrance. The two countries will collaborate on lifestyle accessories design industry, with a special focus on leather and transportation and automobile design sectors.
  • To strengthen the economic cooperation the two countries will convene the next session of the India-Italy Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) in India in 2019.
  • The two countries decided to work towards constituting a CEO Forum and setting up a Fast Track Mechanism to promote bilateral investments and resolve issues faced by businesses in two countries. Two countries also called for the conclusion of India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
  • Italy affirmed it's support to India's membership bid at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
  • Both sides agreed to develop contacts between Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF). Such a partnership would benefit India in leveraging on Italian manufacturing and operational excellence.
  • India also invited Italy to participate in the defense sector under the “Make in India” scheme.
  • The two countries also decided to cooperate in a wide range of areas including renewable energy, food processing, railways, infrastructure and in defense partnership, climate change, counter-terrorism.

India-Italy Relations

  • History
    • The classical languages, Sanskrit and Latin both belong to the Indo-European language family.
    • Peoples of these two ancient civilizations have known, interacted and traded with each other for over 2000 years. Italian port cities were important trading posts on the spice route.
    • The Venetian merchant Marco Polo, during his travels to the east, also traveled to India in the 13th century and wrote about his experiences.
    • Indian troops, serving with the British Indian Army, were active in Italy during World War II.
    • Political relations between India and Italy were established in 1947.
  • Economic, Cultural and Scientific Cooperation
    • India is Italy's fifth largest trading partner in the European Union while Italy is the fifth largest investor in India. The balance of trade has been in India’s favour since the early eighties.
    • The India-Italy trade stood at $10.5 billion in 2017-18, up from $8.8 billion in the 2016-17.
    • The agreement for cultural cooperation was signed in 1976. It includes the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between Italy and India which entails the exchange of students in language programmes as well as other academic courses.
    • An Agreement on Science and Technolgy Co-operation exist since 1978. Some of the prime areas of joint research are Electronics, Biotechnology, Design Engineering Automotive Technologies, Energy etc.

India-Italy Relations Significance

  • 2018 is the year of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Italy.
  • The Italian PM chose India as one of his first visits outside the EU, demonstrating the prominent place given to India.
  • India has recently been identified by Italy as one of the top five priority countries for internationalization of business.
  • Italy acknowledges both geopolitical and economic importance of India and is actively trying to step up its relations to a new high, based on good diplomatic relations and economic exchanges.
  • Italy has supported India's membership to export control regimes like the Missile Technology Control Regime(MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
  • The economic importance of relation can be understood from the fact that Italy is the eighth largest economy in the world and the third largest in the Eurozone. It is also the world’s sixth largest manufacturing nation, dominated by small and medium enterprises clustered in many industrial districts. India, on the other hand, is the sixth-largest economy and a large market for over 600 Italian companies operating in India.
  • Italy hosts the third largest Indian community in the European Union, with an estimated 1,80,000 people, after the UK and the Netherlands. Indian labor is particularly active in the agriculture and dairy industry.
  • Italy, being a part of the European Union, can prove to be an important partner for India in the post-Brexit Europe and can prove to a favorable base for India companies to operate in Europe.
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