On October 29, 2017, Prime Minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni arrived in India for two-day official visit. Mr. Gentiloni was accompanied by a 15-member delegation of Italian businessmen.
- This is the first visit to India by an Italian Prime Minister in last ten years. Romano Prodi was the last Italian Prime Minister to visit India.
- During the course of this visit, Mr. Gentiloni met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India President Ram Nath Lovind and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
- The focus of Mr. Gentiloni’s visit was to give an impetus to economic and commercial cooperation between India and Italy.
- It is to be noted that in 2018, India and Italy will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
India, Italy vow to combat terror, boost trade; ink 6 pacts
On October 30, 2017, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni held extensive talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on issues such as terrorism, cyber crime, and ways to strengthen political and economic relations.
- In a joint statement issued after the meeting, both the Prime Ministers called on all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens, their infrastructure and networks and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.
- Both the leaders also resolved to enhance cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against terror groups such as the Al-Qaeda and the ISIS.
- After the meeting, India and Italy signed six pacts to deepen cooperation in the fields of railways sector safety, energy and promoting mutual investments.
- As per Indian trade data, Italy is India’s fifth largest trading partner in the European Union (EU). Bilateral trade between India and Italy stood at $8.79 billion in 2016-17.
Six pacts signed between India & Italy:
|1||A joint declaration of intent of cooperation for safety in the railway sector.|
|2||MoU on cooperation in the field of energy.|
|3||MoU for promoting mutual investments between the Italian Trade Agency and Invest India.|
|4||MoU to mark 70 years of India-Italy diplomatic relations between the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.|
|5||MoU between the training unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Foreign Service Institute of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.|
|6||An executive protocol on cultural cooperation|
Alitalia re-starts direct flight service to India
On October 30, 2017, Italian airline Alitalia re-started direct flights to India after a gap of nine year. The direct flight will connect New Delhi and Italian capital, Rome.
- Alitalia has deployed a 250- seater Airbus 330 aircraft for this direct flight between New Delhi and Rome which will operate daily for the whole winter season until March 24, 2018.
- As per official data from Italy, around 4.26 lakh travellers visited Italy in 2015.
- Alitalia’s decision to resume direct flight service to India will not only meet the increasing demand for flights between the two countries but would also help strengthen bilateral trade relations.
Quick Facts about Italy:
- Capital – Rome
- Currency – Euro
- Current Prime Minister – Paolo Gentiloni