This is the real 'melody' of relations between India and Italy

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: The 'melody' of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni is being discussed a lot on social media and people's creativity is also visible but the real 'melody' of the relationship between India and Italy lies in the strategic partnership.

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Only last year, India and Italy had jointly decided that they will give the status of strategic partnership to their relations. Though the relations between India and Italy are quite old, but in the year 2012, this relation became sour when two Italian Navy soldiers were accused of killing unarmed Indian fishermen near the South Indian coast. The deal regarding the purchase of Agusta Westland helicopters was also mired in controversies. But now gradually that sourness has gone away and a new 'melody' of relations has started between India and Italy.

Relations strengthened after PM Modi's visit in 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Italy in October 2021 and since then the ice in the relations started melting. Then when Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni came to India on a state visit in March last year, the relations between the two countries progressed further. Then both the countries decided to give the status of strategic partnership to the India-Italy partnership. India and Italy will not only cooperate militarily but will also increase cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Meloni also came to India for the G-20 summit last year. After which in December, the Italian government officially announced its exit from China's Road and Belt Initiative i.e. BRI project. This was considered in India's favor and also another step towards Italy's friendship with India. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor i.e. CPEC is also a part of BRI. China is working on this project in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and India has been continuously opposing it.

Bilateral talks in G-7 were successful
Recently, when Prime Minister Modi visited Italy for the G-7 summit, Modi and Meloni reviewed the progress of the bilateral strategic partnership. When Defense Minister Rajnath Singh visited Italy in October last year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for defense cooperation. A meeting of the Joint Defense Committee and Military Cooperation Group was also held in Delhi in March this year. The agreement between India and Italy will promote security and defense policy, research and development, education in the military field, maritime domain awareness and defense information sharing. Along with this, both the countries will also work together for the development and production of many military equipment. Both the countries have also agreed on military-to-military exchange and talks are going on in this direction.

Italy is India's fourth largest trading partner
Looking at the European Union, Italy is India's fourth largest trading partner. Looking at economic engagement, bilateral trade was $ 15 billion in 2022-23. Exports were $ 8.69 billion which is the highest ever. Both countries are also focusing on food processing, textiles, design, manufacturing and financial services. India has invested about $ 400 million in Italy. Italy is the 18th largest foreign investor in India. From January 2000 to December 2023, an investment of $ 3.53 billion came from Italy to India. There are more than 700 Italian companies in India. In which more than 60 thousand people work.

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