Energy Current Affairs

India, Italy sign six pacts and to enhance counter-terror cooperation

India and Italy have signed six agreements to boost cooperation in the fields of railways safety, energy and promoting mutual investments, among others

They were signed after detailed talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni. He is first prime ministerial trip from Italy to visit India in more than a decade.

Key Takeaways from talks

Both leaders discussed wide-ranging issues, including the emerging security challenges facing the world such as terrorism and cybercrimes, while agreed to enhance cooperation to counter them. They vowed to fight violent extremism in all forms and manifestations and agreed to strengthen consultation mechanism through regular exchange of assessments and information, training and capacity building programmes in sphere of counter-terrorism. They also resolved to enhance cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against al-Qaeda and ISIS. They also called upon all the UN member countries to designate terrorist entities in line with the relevant UNSC Resolutions.

Singed Agreements are

  • MoU on cooperation in field of Energy.
  • Executive Protocol on Cultural Cooperation.
  • Joint Declaration of Intent of Cooperation for Safety in Railway sector.
  • MoU for promoting mutual investments between Italian Trade Agency and Invest India.
  • MoU on 70 years of diplomatic relations between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Italy.
  • MoU between Training Unit of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Government of Italy and Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs, India.

India-Italy Relations

India and Italy are ancient civilizations and have known, interacted and traded with each other for over 2000 years. Political relations between India and Italy were established in 1947. The two countries enjoy cordial relationship.

Italy is India’s fifth largest trading partner in EU with a bilateral trade of US $8.79 billion in 2016-17. India’s exports to Italy were at US $4.90 billion, while its imports were at US $3.89 billion, a trade imbalance of about US $1 billion in favour of India. In the first four months of fiscal 2017-18, bilateral trade had reached US $3.22 billion.

India-Italy diplomatic ties took a hit after two Italian marines — Salvatore Girone and Latorre Massimiliano on board ship named Enrica Lexie, were arrested for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen off coast of Kerala in 2012.

Italy has supported India’s candidature at Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 and at FATF (Financial Action Task Force). Italy’s support is also crucial for India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership and EU-India FTA (Free Trade Agreement).

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Nepal, China sign three pacts to boost energy, economic ties

China and Nepal have signed three pacts to further boost their ties in power, energy and economic sectors. The agreements signed cover oil and gas resources exploration, economic and technological cooperation and promotion of investment.

These agreements were signed after visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang held discussions with Nepal’s Deputy Prime Ministers Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

Key Facts

The agreements cover three different domains viz. (i) economic and technological cooperation, (ii) framework agreement on promotion of investment and economic cooperation and (iii) China-aid oil and gas resources survey project.

These pacts also include a feasibility study for excavating natural gas and petroleum in mountain areas and plains of Terai region of the Himalayan country. They will help to make significant contributions in Nepal’s socio- economic transformation.

Both countries also agreed to establish hydropower projects and transmission lines and take steps for technological development in Nepal, which suffers from acute shortage of electricity. China also agreed to upgrade 114-kilometre Araniko highway- an old route connecting two countries, which was damaged and subsequently closed after the massive 2015 Nepal earthquake.

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