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Indo-Mediterranean Initiative launched at two-day India Forum in Rome

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On Sunday, June 16, the Indo-Mediterranean Initiative (IMI), was launched from the Augustan Altar of Peace, The Ara Pacis, dedicated to Pax Romana. Under the aegis of Senator Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, the initiative will study, support and promote the India-Italy partnership, especially in the context of the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor (IMEC), launched at the G20 in New Delhi in September, 2023.

The events were a part of the two-day India Forum, 2024, in Rome, organized by the Chief Representative for Italy of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Vas Shenoy.

The IMI also announces the arrival of India as a great power, a cyclic return after almost 500 years of colonization and humiliation.

‘During the first day, together with illustrious Italian and international analysts and experts, we discussed the growing challenges, opportunities and synergies emerging from the increasingly close connection between India and Italy, between the Indo-Pacific and Europe. Everyone was unanimously convinced that IMEC, the Economic Corridor launched by the Indian Presidency of the last G20, which saw Italy among the very first signatories, will be much more than an infrastructure project.’, said Senator Terzi, Italy’s former foreign minister, and a senior member of Prime Minister Georgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia party.

Also present as a speaker was Amb. Francesco Taló, former diplomatic advisor to the Prime Minister while she visited India in 2023, and signed the IMEC MoU.

A firm believer in the strategic importance of the Indo-Mediterranean, he said, ‘I was very happy and proud to be present and be a part of the strategic initiative, which has seen Italy be a protagonist in the international scene not only with India but also the UAE and other countries.’

Other speakers included James Jay Carafano from the Heritage Foundation, and Kaush Arha of Stanford University, who provided the US context as well as the geopolitical context. Speakers represented most of Italy’s important think tanks and universities with the strategic partnership of Formiche, Italy’s premier geopolitical platform.

The event started with a video message from outgoing Italian envoy Amb. Vincenzo de Luca, who has strived during his mandate to give the bilateral relationship a strong push. The stage was set by a message from Sanjeev Sanyal, member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

‘The Italy-India relationship is important for global peace, security and progress and to conduct trade and business trust is an essential commodity.’, said Ameya Prabhu, ICC President.

‘The India Forum 2024, in its first edition has touched upon all key components to make this relationship successful – politics, trade and business.’, he continued concluding the first day’s sessions.

On the 17th of June, the ICC Italy-India Business Forum was inaugurated with a message from HE Maria Tripodi, Under the Secretary of State for External Affairs and International Cooperation, and the presence of India’s new envoy to Italy, Amb. Vani Rao, Senator Terzi di Sant’Agata, Italy’s ambassador-designate to India, Antonio Bartoli, and other distinguished guests.

Apart from members of India-Italy parliamentary, a friendship group including Sen. Marco Scurria, Sen. Matteo Gelmetti, Hon. Naike Gruppioni, and other speakers, represented Italian institutions and met with the ICC delegation of 30 companies.

The Indo-Italian Chamber for Commerce and Industry was also represented by its Secretary General, Claudio Maffioletti. The business forum was organized by the ICC with the cooperation of Union Camere, Italy’s national federation of Chambers of Commerce at its headquarters in Piazza Sallustio, Rome.

In November, in partnership with Verona Fiere, the ICC brings the Vinitaly India Preview to New Delhi, bringing to life another ancient export from Italy to India.

The Forum concluded with a fashion show featuring key upcoming Indian brands at the terrace of the Woldorf Astoria Rome, overlooking the eternal city.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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