Your Excellency, Prime Minister Meloni,
Delegates from both the countries,
Friends from media,
I extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Meloni and her delegation as it is her first visit to India. The citizens of Italy elected her as the first female and youngest Prime Minister in the elections held there last year. On behalf of all the Indians, I want to congratulate and wish her good luck on this historic achievement. We had our first meeting during the G20 Summit in Bali, a few days after she assumed office.
Our discussions today were very useful and very meaningful. This year India and Italy are celebrating the 75th anniversary of their bilateral relations. And on this occasion, we have decided that we would give the status of Strategic Partnership to India-Italy partnership. We emphasized on further strengthening our economic ties. Our “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” campaigns are opening up great investment opportunities in India. We laid special emphasis on increasing cooperation in areas like Renewable Energy, Green Hydrogen, IT, semiconductors, telecom and space. Today we are announcing the establishment of a Startup Bridge between India and Italy, and we welcome this decision.
There is another area where the two countries are starting a new chapter, and that is defence cooperation. Opportunities are being created for co-production and co-development in the defence manufacturing sector in India, which can be beneficial for both the countries. We have also decided to organize regular joint exercises and training courses between the armed forces of both the countries. India and Italy are walking shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism and separatism. We discussed in detail on how to further strengthen this cooperation.
There are centuries old cultural and people-to-people ties between India and Italy. We had a discussion on giving a new shape and new energy to these relations according to the needs of the present times. The ongoing talks between the two countries on the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement are of special importance. The early conclusion of this agreement will further strengthen our people-to-people relations. We also emphasized the need to promote cooperation between higher education institutions of the two countries. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the relations between India and Italy, we have decided to make an action plan. With the help of this, we will be able to showcase the diversity, history, science and technology, innovation, sports and achievements of both the countries on a global platform.
All countries have been affected by the crisis of food, fuel and fertilizers arising out of the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. These have had a particularly negative impact on the developing countries. We have expressed our shared concern about this and have emphasized upon joint efforts to solve these problems. We are also giving priority to this subject during India’s G20 presidency. From the very beginning of the Ukraine conflict, India has made it clear that this dispute can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and India is fully prepared to contribute to any peace process. We also welcome Italy’s active participation in the Indo-Pacific. It is a matter of great pleasure that Italy has decided to join the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative. This will enable us to identify concrete themes for enhancing our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Reforms in multilateral institutions are necessary to reflect global realities in a better manner. We discussed this topic as well.
This evening you will be attending the Raisina Dialogue as the Chief Guest. We all look forward to hearing your address there. Many thanks to you and your delegation for your visit to India and for our useful discussions.
DISCLAIMER – This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s remarks. Original remarks were delivered in Hindi.