Why in news? India and Italy announced the elevation of the bilateral relationship to the level of strategic partnership while also concluding a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation.
- Both the countries announced the establishment of a ‘Startup Bridge’ between India and Italy
- Another important area of mutual cooperation is defence, also decided to organise the joint military exercises and training courses on a regular basis
- Italy had decided to join the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) that will enable to identify concrete themes for enhancing our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific for both the countries
- The two countries also concluded a Declaration of Intent (DOI) on migration and mobility.
- Both the nations emphasised on increasing cooperation in renewable energy, green hydrogen, IT, semiconductors, space and telecom.
Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI)
- India proposed IPOI at the East Asia Summit at Bangkok 2019, an Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), to manage, conserve, sustain and secure the maritime domain.
- IPOI is created through a non-treaty-based, cooperative and collaborative approach between nations to meet common challenges in the region.
- The initiative, is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 14 calls on the world to ‘conserve and sustainably use’ the maritime domain
- IPOI seeks to create partnerships with like-minded countries across the expanse from the Eastern shores of Africa to the Western Pacific Ocean, to ensure security and stability in the maritime domain
- It covers a wide spectrum of significant issues through its seven pillars which are:–
- Maritime Security
- Maritime Ecology
- Maritime Resources
- Capacity Building and Resource Sharing
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
- Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation
- Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport
- Italy is India’s 4th largest trading partner in EU.
- India ranks 15th as country of origin of Italian imports, accounting for 1.5% of Italian imports.
- The top items of exports from India to Italy are: organic basic product, clothing, precious metals and other non-precious metals, pharmaceuticals, dyes, pigments and yarns, Motor Vehicles & Parts, Refined petroleum Products etc.
- Italy ranks 17th in FDI inflows in India during April 2000 to June 2022 with FDI inflow of US 3.20 bn dollars during this period
- Indo-Italian Joint Economic Commission Cooperation (JCEC) has been in existence since 1976 for bilateral trade and Investment and economic cooperation
- On October 2020 the first ‘Indo-Italian High-Level Dialogue on Economical relations’ an initiative promoted by AIICP (India-Italy Association for Cooperation and Partnership), in collaboration with Confindustria and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and with the support of the Embassy of Italy in India and the Embassy of India in Italy, was held.
- The Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army visited to Cassino, dedicated the Indian Army Memorial to the 50,000 Indian soldiers who had fought for the liberalisation of Italy in the Second World War and declared renaming of an exiting World War II track as Roorkee road.
- Around 10 Universities/higher education institutions in Italy with highly qualified faculties which conduct courses in Indian art, history and languages. Many of these institutions teach Hindi and Sanskrit to Italian students.
- The 8th International Day of Yoga in 2022, was celebrated in the iconic Castel St. Angelo in Rome
Science and Technology
- The 1978 Agreement on Science & Technology Co-operation was replaced by an Agreement signed in 2003. Some of the prime areas of joint research are Electronics, Biotechnology, Design Engineering Automotive Technologies, Energy
- India-Italy Innovation Day was held virtually on November 23, 2022.
- The Indian community in Italy is the third largest community of Indians in Europe after UK and the Netherlands.
- Italy has extended support to India in crucial elections including in the International Court of Justice, UNESCO Executive Board, International Maritime Organization and FATF.
- They also supported our entry into the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group
- Italy has supported India’s initiative for establishing a Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) announced by PM at the 74th UNGA in New York.
- Italy has reciprocally supported candidature of Mr Praveen Sinha for INTERPOL elections for the position of delegate for Asia and has agreed to support reciprocally of India’s candidate for the election for the ITU council for the term 2023-2026 for Region B Western Europe
China as factor
- Italy’s called on to China’s “unfair” competitive practices and Beijing for its human rights violations in Xinjiang.
- Italy blocked the acquisition of Italian firms by Chinese companies, and Telecom Italia aligned with the EU on restricting Huawei from its 5G network.
- India’s partnership with Italy is gaining strength on all levels—political, economic, and strategic.
- PM Meloni’s visit to India at this critical juncture of global politics would further boost ties while also adding fodder to the reinvigorated EU-India partnership.
For India-Italy relations, the future is likely to be bright and progressive. Discuss