Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will be in New Delhi end of October-his first visit after taking over the coalition government in July.
The Italian premier will come with a large delegation to participate in the 24th edition of the Technology Summit, of which Italy is the country partner.
While the dates of the tech summit are October 29-30, Conte would arrive for his two-day visit either on October 28-29 or on October 29-30.
The main organiser CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) in a statement said, “Yearly Technology Summit benefited immensely the Indian industry and academic and research institutions in forging collaborations with global partners, including policy making that triggered private sector’s investment in R&D and technology significantly. This year, it would be 24th edition of the Technology Summit.”
The visit is taking place after a very difficult phase that both India and Italy witnessed in their bilateral ties, especially after the Italian marines issue which is now before the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague and away from the bilateral realm.
The other area that has seen a lot of controversy is the defence sector, but that has not disheartened the ones making a bee-line for the Indian defence industry.
A former diplomat said that Italy and India are “important” defence partners. “Italy possesses some of the finest defence technologies in the world and can be an appropriate and suitable partner for India in many areas of need. Both sides would hope to put the past behind and to move towards new horizons of collaboration, especially under the ‘Make in India’ programme,” he said.
Interestingly, the Italians are also bringing in a company that specialises in cleaning and restoration of heritage sites. They are looking at taking up the Taj Mahal project: to clean up this historical wonder of the world.
The Prime Minister will be opening the summit and also inaugurate the exhibits from Italy at the summit venue.
Italy comes with an opportunity to expand from textile and design field to the space of technology and innovation.
Sources in the Italian government say that for now this is not a “state visit” but there will be “bilateral” meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and while the Italian Premier’s view on many major issues are known such as immigration and the European Union, both sides are going to explore ways to cooperate in various areas of mutual interest.
Former Indian ambassador to Italy, Anil Wadhwa, says, “The new Italian PM Guiseppe Conte is a proud populist who holds to key to the coalition government in Italy, which is the partner country at the technology summit and Conte through this visit will push for Italy improving upon the fifth slot that Italy occupies in the number of technical collaborations approved in India.”
There would be around 20 technology partners from the field of innovation, technology and various start-ups. Italy is not among the top 10 investors in India , and the dollar 2.5 billion investment figure is modest, reflected mostly in the automotive industry, trading, services, industrial machinery and food processing.
FOCUS ON START-UPS
But railway safety, new and renewable energy cooperation, design, robotics, artificial intelligence clean technologies and packaging are areas of promise with the economic structures in both countries dominated by small and medium enterprises.
“PM Conte will be targeting Italian presence in the start-up and innovation space in India which is focusing on this area in the last few years more than ever before. Italians are wonderful innovators and creators and their companies will find synergy in the Indian environment,” said Wadhwa.
The Italian embassy will also be organising an event, ‘Tech Talk’, where four participants from each country would get to showcase their products. Each participant will get 15 minutes to present their enterprise.
News credit : Indiatoday