After ten years, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs paid a visit to India. Minister Di Maio’s trip to New Delhi and Bangaluru, which took place from 4-6 May 2022, marked the return of the top Italian diplomatic representative to the country since Terzi’s visit back in 2012. This trip displayed the renewed Italian effort to rebuild the partnership with the largest democracy in the world. Relaunching this multi-faceted bilateral partnership meant, first of all, working on enhancing economic cooperation in key sectors.
The Minister first visited Bangaluru, the beating heart of the Indian “Silicon Valley”. The city has been at the forefront of Indian technological development and ascent as an IT exporter since the 90s. The city is also the capital of the country’s aerospace business. Minister Di Maio’s visit was notably focused on sowing the seeds for more comprehensive cooperation n the innovative sectors of startups and aerospace. The President of ASI (Italian Space Agency), Giorgio Saccoccia, accompanied the Minister, confirming the scope of this ambitious goal. The delegation visited the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Indian Institute of Science, where scientific partnerships and joint projects with Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste are being developed.
Political consultations with India External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar took place in New Delhi on 6 May. They reviewed the full spectrum of bilateral relations, including the progress in the implementation of the 2020-2024 Action Plan adopted at the Virtual Summit in November 2020. The Action Plan laid the groundwork for the future of the Italy-India relationship. An all-encompassing set of MoU was signed during the Summit, above all the ones between the Italian Trade Agency and Invest India and the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP), Italy and the Indian National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
In their Joint press release at the end of the visit, the two Ministers expressed satisfaction with “the growing bilateral trade and investment linkages and agreed to expand them in new areas of common interest”. Energy policy was also discussed. Both parties agreed to follow up on their previous commitment to more environmentally sustainable and technologically advanced energy development, as laid out in last year’s India-Italy Strategic Partnership on Energy Transition. A jointly organized TechSummit on Energy Transition and Circular Economy will take place in Delhi in November.
The Italian politician also met with Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal to co-chair a business round-table bringing together top business leaders, particularly in the energy, defence, sustainable mobility, and infrastructure sectors.
The visit was hailed as a positive milestone in both countries, signalling the recent momentum brought by the aftermentioned Virtual Summit and the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Italy in October 2021 is still present. India and Italy seem equally committed to pursuing a more in-depth partnership as they recognize that their long-standing cordial relationship can be the basis for a gamut of bilateral deals and economic ventures that can benefit both.
Source: Ministero degli esteri