BALI: India-Italy relations are set to acquire greater energy in days to come with the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the island resort of Bali.
The key issues that figured in discussions between the two leaders included expanding bilateral cooperation in trade, energy, defence and counter-terrorism. “Excellent meeting with PM @GiorgiaMeloni. We exchanged views on how India and Italy can work closely in sectors like energy, defence, culture and in boosting climate change,” Modi tweeted.
Support for G20 presidency
Issues relating to the Russia-Ukraine war and India’s presidency of G20 also figured in discussions. “The two Heads of Government also exchanged views on the stability of the Indo-Pacific and on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its repercussions, with particular regard to food and energy security,” said a read-out of the meeting by the Italian government. President Meloni, on her part, assured Prime Minister Modi of Italy’s full cooperation in the context of India’s upcoming G20 Presidency, also in light of the scale of the common challenges.
In a gesture of goodwill, PM Modi gifted ‘Patan Patola’ scarf to his Italian counterpart in Bali.
This was the first meeting of Prime Minister Modi with Ms Meloni since she became the prime minister of her country after steering her far-right party to power in September this year.
The Modi-Meloni meeting in Bali underscored that India-Italy relations enjoy robust bipartisan consensus in Italy and will continue to expand and diversify under the new leadership in Rome. The meeting has set the stage for acceleration of two-way trade and investment. Bilateral trade exceeded $10 billion in 2021, and looks set to surpass this figure in 2022. Besides trade, defence relations are acquiring more heft. Italy is keen to make defence relationship more potent for India by exploring opportunities for possible transfer of technology.
The 45-year-old Italian leader, the first woman prime minister of Italy, is expected to come to New Delhi in September 2023 to attend the G20 summit hosted by India.
“We want to become an important technology partner of India. Italy is the second biggest manufacturing country in Europe after Germany,” said Italy’s Ambassador to India Vincenzo de Luca at an online conference organised by India Writes Network and Centre for Global India Insights.
Italy is among India’s top five trading partners in the 28-nation European Union. India ranks 19th as country of origin for Italy’s imports, accounting for 1.2% of Italian imports
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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