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PM Modi’s Historic Italy Visit: Strengthening Ties Between Two Nations

Pm Modi With Giorgia MeloniG7 Italy Summit:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Apulia, Italy late Thursday night (local time) to attend the G7 summit, where India has been invited as an outreach country. PM Modi was welcomed by India’s Ambassador to Italy Vani Rao and other officials at Brindisi Airport in Apulia. This is Narendra Modi’s first foreign visit in his third term as Prime Minister. The G7 summit is being held from 13 to 15 June at the luxury resort Borgo Egnazia in the Apulia region of Italy. 

PM Modi has arrived in Italy on the invitation of Italian PM Giorgia Meloni. He will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Meloni. His visit is important in terms of relations between the two countries. 

Stronger India-Italy relations
Italy is India’s fourth largest trading partner in the European Union and the 18th largest foreign investor. In the last few years, the two countries have elevated bilateral relations to the level of a ‘strategic partnership’, focusing on defence, the Indo-Pacific, energy and science and technology. 

India and Italy are considered two modern and mature democracies of the world. Both have close and friendly relations. Last year both countries celebrated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. 

PM Modi went to Italy in 2021
Prime Minister Modi went to Italy for the G20 summit in October 2021. At the same time, the Italian Prime Minister came to India on a state visit in March 2023 and was the chief guest at the Raisina Dialogue. Meloni also came to India for the G20 summit after this. 

During Meloni’s visit, India-Italy bilateral relations were elevated to the level of ‘Strategic Partnership’ with a focus on defence, Indo-Pacific, energy, and science and technology.

India-Italy Economic Partnership
In terms of economic partnership, bilateral trade between India and Italy was $15 billion in 2022-23. Both countries are focusing on promising sectors such as food processing, textile design, manufacturing and financial services. Indian investment in Italy is estimated to be around $400 million.

Indian companies in Italy are mainly in the IT, pharma, electronics, manufacturing and engineering sectors. Major Indian companies in Italy are: Titagarh Industries, TCS, Mahindra, Ranbaxy, Bombay Rayon, Zydus Cadila, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Aurobindo Pharma Italia, Himatsingkaside, Varroc Group, Endurance Technologies, Gammon, ABG Group, Aditya Birla, Raymond Zambaetti and Sun Pharma.

The major items exported from India to Italy are iron and steel, telecommunication equipment, petroleum products, iron and steel products and auto components and parts. 

The main items imported from Italy include industrial machinery for dairy, electric machinery and equipment, residual chemical and allied products, miscellaneous engineering items and machine tools.