Italy-India Diplomatic Milestone: Minister Jaishankar’s Successful Visit to Rome

Press release by the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IICCI)

7 November 2023

In a remarkable display of diplomatic relations, Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, embarked on a high-profile visit to Italy, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing strategic partnership between the two countries.

His visit to Rome saw a flurry of high-level meetings and discussions, underscoring the deepening ties between India and Italy. Jaishankar had his first meeting with his Italian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani; then he met the Minister of Defence Guido Crosetto and the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso. He was also received by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, showing the importance of the relationship between India and Italy.

The visit’s agenda focused on continuing the Strategic Partnership initiated during Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s successful visit to New Delhi in March and September 2023, for the G20 hosted by India and on the 75th anniversary of Indo-Italian diplomatic relations. This partnership spans various sectors, including defense and security, with a focus on direct collaborations, military procurement, and general diplomacy. India and Italy are also exploring opportunities for increased cooperation in third countries, aligning their strategic thoughts toward the Global South: Africa emerged as a key point of interest for joint projects, with discussions around the Mattei Plan and Italy-Africa cooperation.

The occasion also allowed Minister Jaishankar to extend his gratitude for Italy’s support of India’s major initiatives, highlighting several collaborative projects, including the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA), and the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI). Minister Jaishankar thanked Italy for the support during its G20 presidency and expressed optimism about ongoing negotiations between India and the European Union, which aim at reaching a Free Trade Agreement: in his words, the negotiations are progressing well, and the eventual agreement will set a global standard and become a benchmark for international trade. The visit also saw the signing of a Migration Mobility Partnership Agreement between the two countries, which will facilitate people-to-people relations between the two countries, encouraging professional exchange and cooperation.

In addition to bilateral matters, Minister Jaishankar and Deputy Prime Minister Tajani discussed crucial regional and international security issues. India closely monitors developments on two major European fronts: the Ukraine conflict, where New Delhi advocates for diplomatic solutions, and the Middle East crisis, in which India actively participates in mini-lateral systems and supports the creation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). The IMEC corridor represents a tangible symbol of the strong ties between India and Italy, it promises to open new avenues for communication, green tech, and digital connectivity and lays the foundation for the concept of the Indo-Mediterranean. This geostrategic construct is poised to play a crucial role in bridging the geopolitical gap between the extended Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific.

The visit of Minister Jaishankar to Italy reinforces the strong and multifaceted relationship between the two countries and sets the stage for a future filled with greater cooperation and collaboration in various fields. Italy and India are not merely partners; they are forging a robust alliance that promises to shape their collective future on the global stage.