Dynamic Duo: How PM Modi and PM Meloni Are Shaping a New Era for India-Italy Relations

  • Since Giorgia Meloni assumed office, ties between India and Italy have strengthened considerably. This is evident as India was invited as an ‘Outreach Country’ for the G7 summit held in Italy.
  • By fostering strong relations with India, Italy can attract Indian students and professionals, helping to mitigate its demographic issues and invigorate the Italian economy.
  • India, with its stable and growing economy, is well-positioned to capitalize on the EU’s shift to diversify its trade relations, benefiting both regions through increased exports, investments, and technological collaboration.

India and Italy have had a longstanding relationship, but it has recently seen significant growth, particularly in the second half of 2022. This surge in relations is largely attributed to the rise to power of Giorgia Meloni, head of the Brothers of Italy party. Since Meloni assumed office, ties between the two nations have strengthened considerably. It was evident as India was invited as a participant in this year’s G7 summit held under Italy’s leadership.

What’s Fueling the Relationship 

Demographic Shifts -Italy is facing a significant demographic challenge with an ageing population and low birth rates. This demographic shift poses long-term economic and social issues, including a shrinking workforce and increased pressure on the healthcare and pension systems. In contrast, India has one of the youngest populations in the world, with a burgeoning middle class and a large pool of skilled professionals. By fostering strong relations with India, Italy can attract Indian students and professionals, helping to mitigate its demographic issues. This influx of young talent can invigorate the Italian economy, stimulate innovation, and address labour shortages in various sectors.

The geopolitical dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region have become increasingly important on the global stage. India, with its strategic location and growing naval capabilities, is seen as a pivotal player in the Indian Ocean. Italy, which seeks to enhance its influence and presence in the Indo-Pacific, views a strong partnership with India as essential. This relationship helps Italy counterbalance the growing influence of China and Russia in the region. Additionally, collaboration with India in maritime security, trade routes, and regional stability aligns with Italy’s broader geopolitical objectives, making India a valuable ally.

Downslide in EU’s Economy

Further, many European countries are experiencing economic challenges, including slow growth and high levels of debt. Despite these challenges, Italy has managed to perform relatively well compared to its European counterparts. To sustain this performance and foster long-term economic resilience, Italy is keen on diversifying its economic ties. Looking towards Asian countries, especially India, presents new opportunities for trade, investment, and technological exchange. India’s rapidly growing economy, large consumer market, and advancements in technology and innovation make it an attractive partner for Italy. By strengthening economic ties with India, Italy can tap into new growth avenues and reduce its reliance on traditional European markets.

The strategic cooperation between India and Italy has been highlighted at international forums, such as the recent G7 summit held in Italy. India was invited to participate, reflecting the growing importance of Indo-Pacific issues and the strategic alignment between the two countries. This invitation underscores the recognition of India’s role in global economic and security matters. Collaborative efforts on issues like climate change, sustainable development, and global health further cement the strategic partnership. The G7 summit also provided a platform for Italy and India to discuss and coordinate on policies that address global challenges, thereby strengthening their bilateral relationship.

A Win-win for India and the EU

Likewise, India is keen on expanding its presence in the European market, especially as the European Union (EU) seeks to reduce its economic dependence on China. The EU’s largest trading partner is China, but recent geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties have prompted European countries to diversify their trade relations. India, with its stable and growing economy, is well-positioned to capitalize on this shift. By strengthening trade ties with European countries, India aims to create more space for its products and services in European markets. This move not only benefits India’s economy but also aligns with the EU’s goals of diversifying its trade partners. Enhanced trade relations with India can lead to increased exports, investments, and technological collaboration, benefiting both regions.

These factors collectively explain the recent upsurge in India-Italy relations. The demographic, geopolitical, and economic motivations behind this strengthened partnership highlight the mutual benefits and strategic interests that drive closer cooperation between the two nations.

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