NEW DELHI – As part of his mission to New Delhi for the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani today chaired, with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, a Business Forum with leading Italian companies present in the country.
The Forum provided an opportunity to take stock of India’s ongoing and upcoming strategic projects, particularly in the areas of energy transition, connectivity and sustainable mobility, and defence.
Minister Tajani emphasised that Prime Minister Meloni’s visit is a clear confirmation of the Italian government’s willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation with India, particularly by relaunching the strategic partnership-at 360 degrees-in the private sector.
Starting with some positive data (trade has reached a record level of EUR 15 billion in 2022; more than 600 Italian companies have established their presence in the country, particularly in the industrial districts of Delhi and Mumbai/Pune), Tajani emphasised the strategic sectors that are witnessing the enhancement of the partnership between Rome and New Delhi, starting with energy transition.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs made special reference to the agreements signed by Enel with Indian counterparts; new prospects for cooperation in the defence sector; and the connectivity sector with the “Blue and Raman” cable that will connect Italy and India across the Mediterranean and the Middle East, serving as a model for global digital connectivity. Additional opportunities for Italian companies are also opening up in the field of agribusiness, Italy being the world’s leading supplier of food processing, infrastructure and automotive equipment.
Indeed, the Italian and Indian economies have characteristics that allow for greater complementarity between the two production systems. India aims to strengthen its development capabilities in sectors (such as agribusiness, renewable energy and automotive) on which Italy has a large capital of technological and industrial know-how. Italy, in turn, looks to a market, such as that in India, that is growing steadily (in 2023 India will surpass China both as the world’s most populous nation and in terms of GDP growth) and that points to innovation as the main pillar of its growth, ranking third in the world in terms of startups and with an increasing number of unicorn companies (1 in every 10 are born in India).
The Forum was attended by top executives from top Italian companies. From the director of Enel Grids, Antonio Cammisecra to the President of Tecnimont India, Gianni Bardazzi; from the brothers Matteo and Michele Colaninno of Piaggio to the Ferrovie dello Stato Group, with Italferr CEO Andrea Nardinocchi; from the CEO of Leonardo International, Pasquale Di Bartolomeo to the CEO of Telecom Italia Sparkle, Enrico Maria Bagnasco; from the India, Asia and Pacific Operations Director of Stellantis, Carl Smiley to the President of Marelli India and the Marelli Group’s Electronic Systems division, Ravi Tallapragada; from the CEO of Fincantieri China, Fabrizio Ferri to the President of Simest and Director of European and International Affairs of Cdp, Pasquale Salzano; to the Vice President with responsibility for internationalisation of Confindustria, Barbara Beltrame Giacomello.