Bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Italy
Italy and Bangladesh enjoys an excellent bilateral relation that initiated immediate after our independence in 1971. Italy recognised Bangladesh on 12 February 1972 as one of the first few countries in the world. Diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Italy was established in 1973. In 1974, Italy was one of the countries that sponsored the admission of Bangladesh to the United Nations. The bilateral relationship between the two countries is characterized by multifaceted issues including, among others, an ever-growing people to people contacts, trade and investment, convergence of views on major international issues. Whenever Bangladesh has sought Italy's support, Italy has exhibited understanding for Bangladesh's position on various issues in the international arena. Specially, Italy has expressed clear support for the Bangladesh's position on the GSP issue and adopted a more flexible attitude with regard to knitwear import from Bangladesh. The country has also advocated in favour of Bangladesh's GSP facility in other global platforms like EU. The Italian government was also instrumental in influencing decision to endorse setting up of an International Study Group (ISG) on jute, which was vital to continue international cooperation and support to promote Jute, the Golden Fibre of Bangladesh. Italy, since the beginning of the Rohingya influx to Bangladesh, has been strongly supporting Bangladesh and promoting the rightful solution of the crisis. Both Bangladesh and Italy maintain resident diplomatic representations at the Ambassadorial level to each other’s capital. To address consular issues of a large number of Bangladesh expatriates living in the Northern part of Italy as well as to enhance trade and cultural relations, Bangladesh opened a Consulate General in Milan on 05 May 2011.
Due to the approach by the Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and following the consistent persuasion of this Embassy, the Italian Government declared their no objection for inclusion of Bangladesh in the “Decreto Flussi” again in 2020. The maximum quota of non-EU workers, seasonal and non-seasonal, and self-employed workers was 30,850 for more than 30 countries. The applications were accepted between 13 October and 31 December 2020. During the visit, separate business meetings were organized for the Hon’ble Prime Minister with the CEOs of the seven big Italian companies including Eni, Leonardo, Fincantieri, Intermarine, Aveco, where they expressed their strong interests for investment and to create local partnership to foster the transfer of know-how in Bangladesh.
Important visits in recent years
A number of important bilateral visits have been exchanged between the two countries that have helped in strengthening cooperation and understanding between the two countries. From Bangladesh side, there has been a constant flow of visits at various levels to participate in
various events and conferences in Italy. The major bilateral visits include the following:
Visits from Italy to Bangladesh
i) Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Hon’ble Senator Gilberto Bonalumi in April 1989.
ii) Head of Asia Desk, Department of Cooperation in Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sergio Scarantiono in December 1991.
iii) Secretary General of Italian Institute for Asia, Dr. Antonio Loche in September 1992 and June1994.
iv) Member of European Parliament Honble Mr.Felice Contu in Septembgr 1992.
v) SenatorBendetto Della Vedova visited Bangladesh in February 2015
vi) Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy Bendetto Della Vedova on 10 November 2016
vii) Marzo Tizzzoni, Councilor of Lombardia region of Italy, Vice President Planning and Budgeting Commission, Production activities and Employment Committee, Special Antimafia Committee led a delegation to Dhaka, Bangladesh on 29-30 June 2017.
viii. Visit of the Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy Mr. Bendetto Della Vedova: Italian Deputy Foreign Minister HE Bendetto Della Vedova visited Bangladesh on 10-11 November 2016. During the visit he had bilateral talks with the Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs HE Md. Shahriar Alam MP. He called on the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Hon’ble Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali MP during the visit. He also visited the Holey Artisan Bakery, the place of 01 July Gulshan Tragedy where 9 Italian nationals were brutally killed by terrorist along with other 11 civilians. The visit drew attention and gained importance in the back drop of the Gulshan Tragedy where the two nations were struggling to regain the momentum of relations after the setback.
Visits from Bangladesh to Italy
i) Former President in March 1990
ii) Former Prime Minister in October 1992
iii) Former Foreign Minister in October 1991 and February 1992.
iv) Former Finance Minister in February 1992 and January 1995.
v) Former Agriculture Minister in November 1991, June 1992, June 1993, November 1993, June 1994 and November 1994.
vi) Former Jute Minister in February, 1994
vii) Former Fisheries Minister in March, 1995
viii) Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Rome in October-November, 1996, to attend the World Food Summit.
ix) Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Rome in December 2000.
x) Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni visited Italy in February 2011 to attend 34th Governing Council Meeting of IFAD.
xi) Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni visited Italy in March 2013 to attend the Celebratory Mass of the new Pope in the Vatican City.
xii) Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Milan, Italy to attend summit of Asia-Europe Intercontinental Forum (ASEM) in October 2014.
xiii) Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Italy in February 2018 to attend the 41st Governing Council Meeting of IFAD.
xiv) Hon'ble Finance Minister Mr. AHM Mustafa Kamal, FCA, MP visited Italy in February 2019 to attend the 42nd Governing Council Meeting of IFAD.
xv) Hon'ble Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, MP visited Rome, Italy on 26-27 October 2019.
xvi) Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid an official bilateral visit on 4-7 February 2020.
xvii) Hon'ble Planning Minister Mr. M.A. Mannan, MP visited Rome, Italy to attend 43rd Governing Council of IFAD on 11-13 February 2020.
xviii) Hon’ble Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury visited Rome, Italy to attend Pre-COP26 Parliamentary Conference on 08-09 October 2021.
xix) Hon’ble Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Zahid Maleque, MP visited Rome, Italy to attend 4th Global Health Summit on 13-14 October 2022.
xx) Hon’ble Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, MP visited Rome, Italy on 17-20 October 2022 to attend World Food Forum and Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum.
xxi) Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Rome, Italy on 24-26 July 2023 to attend UN Food Systems Summit+2 Stocktaking Moment.
xxii) Hon’ble Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, MP visited Rome, Italy on 15-19 October 2023 to attend World Food Forum and Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum.