International Relations

Relationships between India and Italy are flourishing

The recent summit between Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi commemorated the 75th anniversary of Italy-India diplomatic relations. It also marked a significant turning point in the two countries’ relations, as they established a strategic partnership for the first time.

Highlights of PM Meloni’s current visit

  • India and Italy have decided to elevate their ties to the level of strategic partnership, with defence being one of the areas where they can begin a new chapter.
  • Boost for startups: The meeting resulted in the creation of a “Startup Bridge” between India and Italy.
  • Bilateral defence exercise: Defense is another important area of mutual cooperation. They also agreed to hold regular joint military exercises and training courses.
  • Improve people’s mobility: India and Italy signed a Declaration of Intent on migration and mobility, as well as a memorandum of understanding between Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata and the Italian Consulate General, as well as the Morarji Desai Institute of Yoga and Sarva Yoga International in Italy.

Developing India-Italy Partnership

  • Bilateral Trade: In recent years, Italy and India have increased their collaboration, resulting in a record figure of around 15 billion euros in 2022, more than doubling the figure recorded in 2020.
  • Five-Year Action Plan: A five-year action plan with well-defined priorities such as energy transition, food processing, advanced manufacturing, creative industry, and infrastructure was adopted in 2020.
  • Italy has joined all of India’s multilateral initiatives, from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to the Coalition for Disaster Relief Infrastructure (CDRI) to the International Solar Alliance.
  • Cultural Collaboration: Italy and India have expanded their cultural collaboration, from heritage to the creative industries, such as fashion, design, and cinema.
  • Scientific Research and Technology: The two countries’ collaboration has resulted in the launch of 13 new joint projects in scientific research and technology.
  • Mobility: There has been a significant increase in the flow of Indian students and workers in Italy in recent years, where an Indian community of over 200,000 people is already active in the Italian economy.
  • During the pandemic, Italy and India collaborated in the health sector by exchanging experiences and practises, launching humanitarian initiatives, and promoting joint research projects.
  • Strategic Partnership: The Joint Declaration approved at the last summit reaffirms the two governments’ commitment to developing a strategic partnership that will focus on sectors such as defence, cybersecurity, space, and energy.
  • The Indo-Pacific and the Enlarged Mediterranean: A link was discovered between the Indo-Pacific and the enlarged Mediterranean, where Italy is a key player in terms of energy security, investments, and commerce.
  • Support for the G20 Presidency: Italy provided full support to the Indian G20 Presidency, contributing to issues that were central to Italy’s G20 Presidency in 2021.
  • Ukraine Conflict: Italy and India will work to find a solution to the conflict in Ukraine.
  • Both Prime Ministers expressed their commitment to strengthening the European-Indian strategic partnership, as well as their support for ongoing negotiations for Free Trade Agreements and agreements on investment protection and geographical indication protection.

What makes Italy such an important partner for India?

  • Economic Cooperation: Italy has one of the most developed economies in the European Union and is home to a number of multinational corporations. India’s economy is expanding, and the two countries have strong economic ties.
  • Trade and Investment: Italy is the 13th largest investor in India, with approximately 700 Italian companies operating in the country. Italian firms are investing in a wide range of sectors in India, including infrastructure, energy, automotive, and textiles.
  • Cultural Ties: India and Italy have a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. Both countries have a rich artistic, literary, musical, and architectural heritage. Italy is well-known for its classical art, and India is well-known for its diverse cultural heritage.
  • Strategic Collaboration: Both share a vision of a multi-polar world order and are dedicated to promoting peace and security. Both countries collaborate closely on global issues like climate change, counter-terrorism, and UN reform.
  • People-to-People Contacts: There are many people-to-people contacts between Italy and India, with a large Indian diaspora in Italy. Over 150,000 people of Indian origin live in Italy, and they contribute significantly to the country’s cultural, social, and economic fabric. The expanding tourism industry is also encouraging more meaningful people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

@the end

Italy and India have a strategic partnership based on international law, freedom of navigation, and territorial integrity. It seeks to strengthen bilateral ties while focusing on sectors such as defense, cybersecurity, space, and energy. In these trying times, the two countries want to give a strong impetus to their relations by recognizing the value of genuine friendship and solidarity.

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