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India-Italy summit: PM Modi, Conte discuss ways to tackle Covid-19 fallout

The two leaders, during a virtual bilateral summit, reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation against common global challenges, including Covid-19.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | November 7, 2020 2:34:43 am
PM Modi to launch Ropax Ferry Service between Bhavnagar and Surat on Nov 8Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Source: Twitter/@BJP4India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte Friday discussed bilateral ties and ways to deal with impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two leaders, during a virtual bilateral summit, reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation against common global challenges, including Covid-19. “We all have to adapt ourselves to this new world,” Modi said, adding there was a need to be ready for the challenges and opportunities arising out of the crisis.

Italy is India’s fifth-largest trading partner in the European Union. Both sides are keen to expand their economic engagement in a range of areas.

The country has been seeking two-way investment in several areas, including energy, health, pharma, food processing, infrastructure and advanced manufacturing.

The virtual summit provided an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship.

They also talked about cooperation in political, economic, technological, space and defence spheres. On regional and international issues, both agreed to coordinate closely at multilateral fora, especially G-20. Italy will assume the presidency of G-20 in December 2021, followed by India in 2022. Together, they will be part of the G20 Troika from December.

Around 15 agreements in sectors such as energy, fisheries, ship building and design were signed coinciding with the virtual summit.

Bilateral trade between India and Italy was valued at €9.52 billion in 2019. Around 600 large Italian companies in sectors such as fashion, textiles, automotive components and infrastructure are active in India.

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