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Governo Italiano

Dettaglio intervento

Data:

04/10/2012


Dettaglio intervento

(fa fede solo il testo effettivamente pronunciato)

· I am particularly glad to open this workshop at SOFOFA, together with the Minister for Infrastructures of Chile, to testify the high interest Italy has in this fast-growing economy. Before getting into more detailed economic data, though, I would like to develop a few points on the reasons why both Italy – with the many efforts carried out so far, and the reforms in progress – and a recovered Eurozone will not only be the natural political interlocutor, but also a stable and valuable economic interlocutor for Latin America as a whole, and for Chile in particular.

· Let me start by saying that Italy, and the Government I have the honour to represent here, today, is playing a crucial role in Europe. Through an important, albeit painful, review of the public expenditure, we gained the necessary credibility to be an active negotiator at the European table when discussing the new European economic governance, with the aim to foster both fiscal discipline and growth, as well as to complete the internal market.

· That is to say that Italy is far more solid a Country than it may look, and Europe – the European Union Italy is working hard to build - will be increasingly integrated and more open towards the external markets. A single market fully based on competition is at the basis of Italy’s vision of how the EU should be.

· Let me start by saying that Italy, and the Government I have the honour to represent here, today, is playing a crucial role in Europe. Through an important, albeit painful, review of the public expenditure, we gained the necessary credibility to be an active negotiator at the European table when discussing the new European economic governance, with the aim to foster both fiscal discipline and growth, as well as to complete the internal market.

· That is to say that Italy is far more solid a Country than it may look, and Europe – the European Union Italy is working hard to build - will be increasingly integrated and more open towards the external markets. A single market fully based on competition is at the basis of Italy’s vision of how the EU should be.

· Coming to Latin America, over the last few years European investments in the region have grown by 50% overall. According to the World Bank, it is much easier for Europe to start a business in Latin America than it is in Asia. In recent years, Latin America’s attraction capacity has dramatically grown: not only in terms of natural resources and production capacity, but also in terms of consumption potential. Moreover, Europe is far closer, as for cultural and social values, to Latin America than it is to other emerging areas.

· When looking at the Latin American continent, Italy can count upon two important assets: 60 million Italian citizens abroad, most of which live in the Americas, provide great value added to our relations; moreover, our industrial structure is based on some pivotal big groups already present in the continent, but also on SMEs and the industrial clusters we’ve often presented as a model for emerging economies.

· Against this background, facts and figures are self-explaining in showing how Chile represents a natural economic counterpart for Italy. Chile's robust domestic fundamentals and political and institutional stability will be supportive of growth in the next four years, according to the most reliable forecasts. With a GDP expected to grow by 4.9% annually in 2012-16, driven by a strong domestic demand, Chile can be a great challenge for our enterprises. Italy is the 7th destination for Chilean export and the 14th among the main suppliers. Nevertheless, we believe that we can do a lot more in this Country, especially as far as infrastructures are concerned.

· We are convinced that Chile's success in attracting FDI is largely the result of a successful liberal economic policy that has made it open to foreign investment and trade earlier than most of its regional peers. Furthermore, prospects are bright for continued success in receiving investment.

· Upon these grounds, Chile is all the more a challenging market for the Italian building enterprises, all of them well-know for their expertise on every kind of ground, and particularly capable of creating long term partnerships with local enterprises, supporting the training of local personnel. Latin America already covers almost 25% of the global portfolio of the Italian building companies operating abroad but we wish to increase the Chilean percentage of this ratio.

· We are therefore very interested in learning about the opportunities offered by Chile and willing to get more and more involved in the major contracts and call for tenders within the ambitious infrastructural program undertaken by the Chilean Government. This meeting is also useful for us to get acquainted with the instruments Chile has put in place in order to attract foreign direct investments, including the national framework of public contracts and concessions.

· All in all, we are here to say that we are present but willing to be more and more involved in this market. All over these years, our policy towards Latin America has been bi-partisan and widely shared by all sectors of our society, but we do need to reflect on how and in which sectors we can do more, especially in a Country like Chile.

Finally, let me add a few remarks on the regional integration process. Latin America is getting more and more similar to Europe, inasmuch as it aims at regional integration. Italy is willing to play a crucial role in this field, also within the European Union, based on the assumption that regional integration is key to increasing economic investment opportunities, especially in those fields where “physical” integration is at stake (infrastructures, telecoms). In my view, more integration is also the right answer/antidote to some protectionist tendencies in both our continents. In a few words: we need to prevent protectionism from becoming the legacy of this economic and financial crisis, and Europeans can only cooperate with Latin Americans to this end.

Luogo:

Santiago

14269
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