News summary on the visit of PM, Italy to Chennai.
Based onnews report published in The HIndu dted 11 Feb 07
Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy, who is a on week long tour to India, visited Chennai on 10 Feb 07, to inaugurate the Piramdello Resources centre for Italian studies and an Exhibition on ‘ancient Rome and ancient India’ at Madras University premises. His is a multi purpose visit covering many fields. While addressing a meeting in the University, he said he wanted more Indian students to join Italian universities for higher studies as well as research. Italy itself has opened itself both to the West and East and it desires to be the ‘European gateway’ to Asia. Chennai is Mr. Prodi’s first stop of his tour, which will include Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi; also as part of a strategic initiative to foster partnership between India and Italy. Mr. Prodi has brought with him some 300 delegates from different companies. While lauding the tremendous strides the Indian growth engine has made in just 10 years and has also embarked on a new era of contemporary history, the Italian PM prognosticates that India would shape tomorrow’s world. He recalls that India as of now accounted for 1.5% of the world’s GDP and will triple its share to 4.6% by 2030 and reach 12% by 2050. Italy has also changed and is reaching out to the new emerging countries and is looking eastwards. He further added, “Only by strengthening the European project, we can impact on the world. If the European nations do not unite economically, we won’t exist any more in the new world. A common European current alone cannot do much magic.” Europe and India are quite close to each other now, as demonstrated in their search for peace and adoption of the notion of soft power which comes from the strength of policies rather than the threat of war. Both the European mind and India shared the same multilateral view of the world. Later that afternoon, addressing a round table conference of CEOs, Prodi said, “We must use all our instruments to improve our relationship.” He cited ‘ignorance’ as the primary reason for so little a trade between India and Italy. The Western world has now understood and witnessed India’s potentials The Italian Minister for Trade said that they now recognize India as a strategic player on the global scene and also as an essential partner for international stability. He considers India as a partner of choice - one with whom he would feel most comfortable at developing more intensive and closer economic and trade relations. The Chairman of CII ( Confederation of Indian Industries) assured the visitors that the forum would strive to elevate the level of engagement between India and Italy. He also advocated establishing an “European Union – India Economic co-operative Treaty”.
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Israel Jayakaran (Pen name: AIJAYKAY)