India and Italy signed an agreement on cooperation to promote engagement in various defence domains — such as security and defence policy, research and development, industrial co-development, co-production and setting up of joint ventures — in the presence of visiting Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Italian counterpart Guido Crosetto in Rome on Monday.

Singh who in the first leg of his two-nation official tour, held talks with Crosetto focussing on the opportunities in defence industrial cooperation, as India is keen on increasing its defence equipment footprint abroad. During the meeting, both sides discussed a host of defence cooperation issues, including training, sharing of information, maritime exercises and maritime security, the Ministry of Defence officially stated on Tuesday.

“The two Ministers discussed the complementary capacities of India and Italy in defence and the possibilities of joint development. The Raksha Mantri suggested fostering the interaction of the Indian start-ups with the Italian defence companies,” read the MoD statement. The meeting was followed by the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation in the field of defence, the Ministry elaborated.

From here, the Defence Minister will fly off to Paris to have defence bilateral meeting with his French counterpart.