November 6, 2020
Virtual Bilateral Summit between India and Italy to discuss existing bilateral relations and strengthen cooperation against global challenges.
The two nations, set to be a part of G20 Troika, signed 15 MoU’s in various sectors like energy, fisheries, shipbuilding, design etc.
Italy is currently India’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU, and bilateral trade was worth USD 11.25 billion in 2019.
The Summit gave a significant boost to India’s Defence partnership with Italy, one of the key European states and member of G-7.
On 6th November, a virtual Bilateral Summit between India and Italy was held to review the all-inclusive schema of the existing bilateral relationship, and to strengthen cooperation against common global challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This was attended by the Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi and his counterpart Prof. Giuseppe Conte. A wide range of issues were discussed including political, economic, scientific & technological, space and defence cooperation. With the two nations together becoming part of the G-20 Troika from December 2020, they signed 15 MoU’s during the Summit in various sectors such as energy, fisheries, shipbuilding, design etc.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, India provided every kind of support in the form of medical supplies and PPE kits, reiterating that the pandemic calls for an inclusive multilateral approach to health protection. India and Italy together have made considerable progress under the India-Italy Science and Technology Cooperation and India-Italy Executive Programme of Cooperation. The Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are working in tandem under the aegis of flagship programme, Thematic Working Groups, working on ‘Heliophysics’, the study of effects of the Sun on the Solar System. The heads of state also discussed cooperation on matters of counterterrorism, Coalition on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the International Solar Alliance (ISA). India’s Defence partnership with Italy, one of the key European states and member of G-7, has got a major boost during the Summit. The adoption of the Joint Declaration and the Plan of Action focus on the priority areas and strategic goals on which the bilateral partnership between the two nations for the period 2020-2025 will be based upon.
India and Italy are exploring the possibility of increasing Italian investments in India and enhancing defence cooperation and manufacturing under the Make in India initiative. Italy being the 3rd largest EU economy after Brexit with robust manufacturing technological and design capabilities, as a strong partner for the Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives. Italy is currently India’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU, and bilateral trade was worth USD 11.25 billion in 2019. India, however, ranks 16th as country of origin for Italian imports, and shows immense promise and scope for considerable growth. Italy has traditionally been supportive towards India at multilateral forums and the two countries are currently working towards a roadmap for a more substantive engagement, including a migration mobility partnership agreement.