Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who is on a two-day visit to India, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 30 October 2017. Gentiloni was welcomed by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi is expected hold delegation-level talks with Gentiloni, following which a number of agreements are expected to be signed.
While announcing the visit, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that the prime ministerial trip from Italy was happening after more than a decade. The last visit of an Italian prime minister to India was in February 2007. The visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries.
The Indo-Italy diplomatic ties were hit badly after two Italian marines Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone on board a ship named Enrica Lexie, were arrested for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012. Gentiloni will be accompanied by his wife and a 15-member Italian CEOs delegation. Italy is India’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU with a bilateral trade of USD 8.79 billion in 2016-17.