Italian envoy to India has said his country is working with India for a trading system that is “equitable and free”. Speaking exclusively to our diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Envoy Vincenzo De Luca talked about the India Italy virtual summit that took place last week saying, “We have defined our working program for the next five years” and “this is the most important achievement.”. He spoke on several issues from covid pandemic to India-EU ties.
Q: What is the key outcome of the virtual summit that took place between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte?
Vincenzo De Luca: The virtual summit between President Conte and Prime Minister Modi marks an important milestone in the bilateral relations between Italy and India. The two Prime Ministers had a thorough exchange that ranged from global to regional and bilateral issues. The results of the meeting were summarized in the Joint Declaration and Plan of Action, which contains the priority areas and strategic goals on which the bilateral partnership for the period 2020-2025 will be based upon. We have defined our working program for the next five years and I believe this is the most important achievement.
Q: On covid crisis, how both countries are collaborating?
Vincenzo De Luca: Italy and India have worked extensively together since the outbreak of COVID 19. Among other initiatives, we have co-organized two webinars aimed at exchanging experiences and exploring areas of cooperation for future projects, especially in the field of drug repurposing and immunization. We will also work together in the multilateral arena, in particular in view of the consecutive presidencies of the G20. We both believe in an efficient multilateralism, one that is capable of responding to the needs of a multipolar world. Tackling the current health situation is among the main tasks that the international community will deal with in the near future and this is why we must rely on a reinforced role of the World Health Organization.
Q: How much alternate supply chain was the focus of the summit?
Vincenzo De Luca: We are aware that a sustainable economic recovery post-COVID 19 will depend on the activation of solid and reliable global supply chains and enhanced connectivity. In this framework, we are confident to work with our Indian partners for a reinforced trade system that encourages equitable and free trade.
Q: How do you see India’s outreach to Europe? We saw visits by Indian FS. Now the virtual summit.
Vincenzo De Luca: We are very happy about the successful completion of the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020 and are looking forward to the implementation of “India-EU Strategic Partnership: Roadmap to 2025” which will intensify India-EU partnership in several areas including trade, investment, connectivity, digital technologies, and climate.