Prime Minister Gentiloni underlined the need for economic inclusion for all-round growth, stability and peace.
With roughly 150 Indian companies operating in Italy and over 400 Italian companies in India, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni hoped both countries can and will do better.
Delivering the Special Address on “Italy, the EU and India: A strong partnership in a time of global challenges” at an event organised by Observer Research Foundation and the Embassy of Italy, Mr. Gentiloni said: “These numbers (of companies) are promising, but we can and will do much better.”
Noting that geopolitics is more than global tensions and in current times it brings about global opportunities, Mr. Gentiloni said the global trade is again on the rise and large infrastructural projects in India and a renewed focus on investment in Europe will offer important chances of cooperation.
Mr. Gentiloni said there are many sectors in which Italy and India can benefit from each other’s talents and expertise, from infrastructure to agrifood, from machine tools to energy and green technologies.
“It is not only about business, and not even only about India and Italy: the more we are able to strengthen and develop inclusive economic growth, in an open global market based on the rule of law and the principles of economic inclusion, the more the international tensions will tend to subdue,” he said.
The Italian prime minister also repeatedly underlined the need for economic inclusion for all-round growth, stability and peace in countries as well as the world.
He pointed out that while the world looks in its best shape ever from a distant perspective, in terms of poverty and across-country inequality, nobody lives in a distant perspective. “People live in real contexts, people are not numbers or statistics. We know that in our developed countries and also in newly emerged economies, many strata of the middle-class and the low-earner groups have suffered and are still suffering,” the prime minister said.
He said the more we are able to strengthen and develop inclusive growth, in an open global market based on the rule of law and the principles of economic inclusion, the more international tensions will tend to subdue.
He added: “We need stronger economic policies, not to increase spending, but to give meaningful answers our citizens.”
Mr. Gentiloni also stressed the need for a common migration policy for Europe. “Italy saved tens of thousands of lives at sea. The global phenomenon of migration sees us in the frontline. On this we need increasingly multilateral approaches.”
“We need a common European policy on migration,” the Italian prime minister, who was on a two-day visit to India, said.
“We want to see Africa thrive, socially and economically. Also, because this is the only way to manage migration flows without giving up to our principles and our humanity,” he said.
Welcoming the prime minister, ORF Trustee Lalit Bhasin said there are lots of potential for cooperation between India and Italy, especially in development as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focussed on various developmental schemes like Make-in-India, Skill India, etc.
Mr. Bhasin said both the countries could also work jointly in UN commission on terrorism and collectively work in Afghanistan.
He said counter-terrorism is a critical area where India and EU can co-operate to tackle the menace collectively. This is an important area where both can work together to build a substantial consensus and ensure an early adoption of UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
He pointed out that India has long been cautioning the world from various international forums regarding the nature and threat international terrorism poses to international peace and security. With increasing terrorist networks and multiple avenues available for the proliferation of terrorist ideologies, the world is witnessing unprecedented threat of extremism, violence and radicalism across the globe. It is therefore imperative to deal with it collectively.
After Mr. Gentiloni’s special address, there was a question answer session, moderated by Mr. Rakesh Sood, Distinguished Fellow, ORF and a former ambassador. Questions ranged from Italy’s trade agreements with China to its positions on Syrian war, West Asia situation and other international issues.
Answering questions, the Italian prime minister said his country’s trade cooperation with China is open and frank; adding it is positive as far as India is concerned.
He also said that both Italy and India are together in opposing increasing trade protectionism, as it is not in the interests of both the countries and the global trade.