On the second day of his visit to Italy, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met the CEOs and other top industry leaders of Italian defence companies in Rome on October 10, 2023.
During the meeting, the Raksha Mantri recalled his warm meeting with Italian Defence Minister Mr Guido Crosetto & the defence agreement concluded on the preceding day and emphasised on the need for defence industries of the two countries to work together.
Rajnath Singh stated that the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has significantly improved the ease of doing business in India, eased the norms for FDI in defence, created two Defence Industrial Corridors and is consistently working to encourage defence manufacturing in India. “India offers exciting opportunities for co-development & co-production and the complementary capacities of Indian & Italian defence industries could be optimised in a win-win situation,” he said. The Raksha Mantri also requested the Italian industry leaders to strengthen the supply chain linkages with the Indian defence manufacturers and develop closer ties with the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.
The meeting was attended by CEOs, Presidents & Vice Presidents and senior officials of 24 Italian defence companies. Industry leaders from Leonardo, Fincanteri, Electtronica, Beretta, AIAD, Pasquali and many other prominent Italian companies were present. Presence of Italian defence industry in these numbers was a record of sorts.
The Defence Minister welcomed the proposals made by the CEOs on strengthening defence relations between the two countries and assured them of all necessary support and assistance on the part of Government of India.
The Italian Under Secretary of Defence Mr Matteo Perego di Cremnago also attended the meeting, in addition to the representation by Secretary General of Association of Defence Industries and the Italian Ministry of Defence.
Later in the day, the Defence Minister, accompanied by Mr Matteo Perego di Cremnago and Indian Ambassador to Italy Smt Neena Malhotra visited Montone in Perugia Province where he paid rich tributes at a Memorial recently built for Naik Yaswant Ghadge and other Indian soldiers who fought in the Italian Campaign in World War II.
Over 50,000 soldiers from the Indian Army had participated in the Italian Campaign, of which over 5,700 lost their lives and are commemorated in various cemeteries across Italy. He was welcomed by the Mayor of Montone, local community, school children and the Indian community members at Montone. The Defence Minister thanked them for keeping the memories of Indian soldiers alive. The visit of Raksha Mantri to the Yaswant Ghadge Memorial has deepened the unique historical connect India shares with Italy.