Sushma Swaraj calls on Italian PM

Paolo Gentiloni

This was the first Italian prime ministerial visit since the last one in February 2007 by then Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will come on a state visit to India on October 30, the first such visit in over a decade, the External Affairs Ministry announced on Friday. "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. The reform programme going on in India is the great opportunity for Italian businesses community. "We have good investments from Indian companies in Italy", the Italian Prime Minister said while speaking to the media here.

Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni arrived in New Delhi on Sunday, accompanied by a 15-member delegation of Italian businessmen.

On February 15, 2012, two Italian navy personnel - Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone - fired at a fishing vessel off the Kerala coast from oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie. The Italian government was of the view that since the ship was in global waters, only the worldwide Tribunal for the Law of the Sea could apply, questioning the Indian government's jurisdiction over the case.


New Delhi hopes the visit will give a fillip to bilateral economic relations.

The two leaders will meet the top CEOs of each other's countries.

India's exports to Italy are at USD 4.90 billion, while its imports are at USD 3.89 billion, resulting in a trade imbalance of USD 1 billion in favour of India. Italy is India's fifth largest trading partner in the European Union with a bilateral trade of $8.79 billion in 2016-17, according to official figures. While Latorre returned to Italy in September 2014 following an order of the Supreme Court issued on health grounds, Girone was allowed to go in May 2016. There are more than 600 Italian companies with offices in India in areas ranging from fashion to textiles and textile machinery, auto components, energy and insurance.

In June 2015, Rome finally moved the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague against New Delhi under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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