International Affairs



I have great pleasure in welcoming you to India and in accepting the Letter of Credence from His Excellency President Ciampi accrediting you as the next Ambassador of Italy to India.

The warm and friendly relationship which exists between our two countries is characterized by mutually beneficial cooperation. We look upon Italy as an important partner and value the high level exchanges which have taken place between our two countries in recent years. These exchanges have contributed to a closer political understanding between our two countries and we look forward to their continuation.

Your Excellency, the economic relationship between our two countries is important and rightfully merits the attention of our two Governments. Italy is India's fourth largest trading partner in the European Union. It is also an important investor with investments close to US $ 700 million in the past nine years. There is, however, considerable potential for further enhancing these linkages between our two countries. Our investment needs in the infrastructure field are large and a significant portion will have to be sourced from abroad. We look forward to participation by Italy in our infrastructural development.

We are happy that a large number of Indo-Italian Joint Ventures are operating successfully for the last many years. The MOU on cooperation in the field of Small Scale Industries, which was signed during the visit to India of former Prime Minister, H.E. Romano Prodi in January 1998, is particularly significant. We are aware that Italy has considerable expertise in this area and would, therefore welcome cooperation, which would tap the complementarities which exist between our two economies.

In the international sphere, Excellency, we believe that the United Nations remains the best option available to humanity as a global institution. It needs no doubt, to be democratized and made contemporary for meeting the new challenges which face the world today. There is, therefore, a need to further invest political will and resources in this institution. The United Nations should also be rendered more responsive to the concerns of the vast majority of its members i.e., the developing countries. We support an enhanced role for the UN in development and development cooperation dialogue. Any effort to increase the effectiveness of the organization, however, depends on the ability to resolve its financial crisis. The Security Council also needs to be made more representative of the present membership of the UN and today's political realities.

Your Excellency, India has recently gone through the process of democratically electing a new Government. This, the largest such exercise conducted anywhere in the world, reaffirms our commitment to the principles and practice of democracy. India is also a secular country by tradition and by virtue of its Constitution and a country committed to the fundamental principles of peace and peaceful coexistence. Mr. Ambassador, I am sure that during your stay in India you will get a chance to see for yourself how a nation can maintain its unity in the midst of a diversity of faiths, beliefs and culture.

We share with Italy, a commitment to the principles of democracy and individual freedom as well as peaceful coexistence among the nations of the world. I am sure that we will continue to work together on the basis of shared values towards a peaceful and equitable world order.

I would like to end by wishing you, Excellency, a successful tenure in India and assure you of the fullest cooperation of my Government in the performance of your duties.

Thank you

Jai Hind