India and Italy, two ancient civilizations with rich histories, have shared a robust relationship for over 2,000 years, beginning with trade along the spice route. Post-independence, the relationship was formalized in 1947, leading to numerous high-level visits and strong political ties. A significant milestone in this relationship is the signing of the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA) in November 2023.


Historical Ties and Political Relations:

  • India and Italy’s relationship dates back 2,000 years, with Italian coastal cities playing a crucial role in the spice trade.
  • Since India’s independence, both nations have engaged in frequent political and governmental exchanges, with visits from heads of state enhancing bilateral ties.

Economic Collaboration:

  • Bilateral trade between India and Italy reached USD 13.229 billion in 2021-22, a 50% increase from the previous year.
  • Italy stands as India’s fourth-largest trade partner within the European Union.

Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA):

  • Signed in November 2023 during the visit of India’s External Affairs Minister to Italy, the MMPA aims to strengthen people-to-people connections and mobility.
  • The MMPA facilitates the movement of employed, self-employed, skilled workers, students, academics, researchers, business people, and artists, addressing the labor market needs of both countries and creating job opportunities for Indian professionals.

Strategic Importance:

  • The partnership will contribute to the stability and openness of the Indo-Pacific region, which is crucial for future commerce and connectivity.
  • The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), launched during the G20 summit in Delhi, offers a new route connecting Asia and Europe, further enhancing economic ties.


Community and Educational Impact:

  • Italy hosts one of the largest Indian communities in the European Union, which has grown with an influx of students and workers.
    The agreement provides a framework to improve transportation and residency conditions for Indian nationals in Italy.
  • Indian students can obtain temporary residency in Italy for up to 12 months post their academic or vocational training, gaining valuable professional experience.


  • In 2022, 5,897 Indian students were studying in Italy, reflecting a steady increase from previous years (4,791 in 2019, 3,211 in 2020, and 3,008 in 2021).
  • The MMPA signifies a deepening of the India-Italy relationship, promoting mutual growth and stability in both regions.
Legacy Editor Changed status to publish July 6, 2024