On October 30, 2018, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was on a day-long visit to India.
- This was his maiden visit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India.
- The highlight of the visit was the Italian prime minister’s participation at the 24th edition of the India-Italy Technology Summit.
- He was accompanied by a high level delegation of business leaders from Italy.
24th India-Italy Technology Summit:
On October 30, 2018, 24th edition of the India-Italy Technology Summit was held in New Delhi.
i. It was co-hosted by India and Italy.
ii. The Summit was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
iii. The summit focused on a number of areas including healthcare, aerospace, education, clean technology, renewable energy and information and communication technology.
iv. During the Summit, PM Modi:
- Announced the launch of the next phase of the India-Italy Industrial Research and Development Cooperation program,
- Mentioned about Atal Innovation Mission, Umang App and 3 lakh Common Service Centres,
- Mentioned special focus to be given for Leather sector and Transportation & Automobile Design , TAD.
v. Prime Minister Modi and premier Gentiloni also interacted with 12 Indian and 19 Italian business leaders for boosting economic and investment cooperation.
vi. Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology highlighted there were 30 ongoing project that India was conducting with Italy.
Interaction between the 2 Prime Ministers:
On October 30, 2018, on his day-long visit to the India, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held delegation level bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
i. Besides the summit, the 2 PMs discussed ways to boost cooperation in key areas such as trade and investment, robotics, genetics, aerospace, renewable energy and research-based programmes.
ii. Following are the important discussions that took place:
India-Italy to re-iterate Political cooperation:
- The 2 sides agreed to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and continue inter-parliamentary exchanges.
- According to a 2017 MOU between the foreign service institutes of the 2 countries, the first batch of Indian diplomats will be undergoing a training course in Rome under the aegis of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
India, Italy to fast-track trade, two-way investments:
- The two sides agreed to convene the next session of the India-Italy Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) in India in 2019.
- This will help in establishment of a CEO Forum and a Fast Track Mechanism to promote two-way investments, and resolve issues.
India, Italy to set up institutional framework to enhance economic Cooperation:
- India invited Italy to explore investment opportunities in the entire food processing value chain particularly in food processing units, equipment manufacture, skill development, research and development and quality assurance.
- Setting up of an India-Italy Joint Working Group on Food Processing was proposed.
- To establish Minerva an educational and vocational training hub in Mumbai, by the Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce, under the Embassy of Italy in New Delhi.
- It will provide international standard education and vocational training for Indian students for placement.
- To take forward the Indo-Italian cooperation and collaboration in renewable energy by a new session of the Joint Working group which will convene in Rome in 2019.
- India-Italy cooperation in India’s infrastructure sector, particularly in the construction of roads, bridges, ports, subways etc, Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) were to work together.
- To strengthening the India-EU economic partnership via adoption of mutually beneficial India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
India-Italy to build Centres of Excellence around cultural heritage, research:
- India-Italy Joint Science and Technology Committee to set up an Italy-India Platform for science and innovation,
- This will promote establishment of Indo-Italian Centres of Excellence in selected areas of mutual strength such as cultural heritage preservation, renewable energy, life sciences, and geohazards.
India-Italy to enhance Technology Partnership:
- To explore the feasibility of collaborating in the fields of Life Style Accessories Design (LAD)with special focus on the leather sector, and Transportation & Automobile Design (TAD).
- To launch the next phase of the bilateral India-Italy Industrial Research & Development Cooperation Program,
- This will enable industries, enterprises and research institutions of both countries to partner seamlessly in co-developing new products.
India-Italy to strengthen Global Partnership:
- Italy showed it’s support to India’s intensified engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
- To strengthen counter-terrorism, they agreed to work together for implementation of The Hamburg G20 Leaders’ Statement on Countering Terrorism.
- The Indian side proposed to host the 2nd India-Italy Joint Working Group on Combating Terrorism in New Delhi at a mutually convenient date in the first half of 2019.
- Both agreed to strengthen, and reform the WTO to help it meet new challenges and to improve its transparency, monitoring, dispute settlement mechanism, and its rule making functions.
India, Italy resolve to expand defence, trade ties:
- India invited Italian defence equipment manufacturing companies to invest in India under the Make-in-India initiative and to collaborate with Indian companies for design and construction of defence equipment.
Italy is India’s fifth largest trading partner in the European Union and the annual trade turnover between the two countries was USD 10.4 billion in 2017-18. Over 600 Italian companies are operating in India.
♦ Capital: Rome.
♦ Currency: Euro.