We Have Common Interests, Says Italian PM During First India Visit
Paolo Gentiloni is the first Italian Prime Minister to visit India in a decade.
India and Italy have common interests in the global arena, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said during his first visit to New Delhi. Gentiloni flew to India on Oct. 29 for a two-day visit to improve bilateral relations between the countries, which had soured after two Italian marines were tried in India for the death of two fishermen from Kerala in 2012. The visit is the first one by an Italian prime minister in a decade.
“The visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The Italian Prime Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Oct. 30. He was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He is also scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
“We have strong economic relations and it’s a great opportunity to make it stronger. We have common interests in global arena,” the Italian Prime Minister said while talking to the media. “The reform program going on in India, is great opportunity for Italian businesses community. We have good investments from Indian companies in Italy.” He added that India and Italy are committed towards fighting climate change and terrorism.
“We both are committed against climate change and we share our interest in tackling with problems relating to migration, economy and trade and global relation. We have common goals which is democracy. So, I am very happy to visit India. I hope that this visit will be a great opportunity to relaunch this relation and also my personal relations with Prime Minister Modi,” he added, according to ANI.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni meets External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Delhi pic.twitter.com/TyDffmaQth
— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2017
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) October 30, 2017
Gentiloni is accompanied by his wife, Emanuela Mauro, and a 15-member delegation of CEOs. The country is part of the largest trading bloc, the European Union, of India. Italy is the 5th largest trading partner in the EU.
In 2016-17, India’s exports were $4.90 billion while imports from Italy were $3.89 million. Indians exports increased by 5.94 per cent as compared to 2015. India exports iron, cast iron, steel and ferro-alloys; organic basic chemicals, and refined petroleum products; plants for the production of beverages; footwear; tanned leather, vehicles; fish, crustaceans and molluscs (processed and preserved); jewelry; plastics in primary forms; dyes and pigments; and parts and accessories for vehicles, to the European nation.
Italy is the 13th largest foreign investor in India, making 0.70 per cent of the cumulative total FDIs to India in the period April 2000-June 2017, according to official data.
In the April-July period of fiscal 2017-18, bilateral trade reached $3.22 billion, with the balance of trade being in favor of India since 1988.