Italy views Vietnam and Singapore as countries offering “unique” opportunities. Hanoi, with its steady annual growth of 6%, a broadening market economy and reforms and development plans already launched, can act as a bridge to a consumer market of 600 million: that of Southeast Asia; Singapore is Asia’s number one financial centre, with two sovereign funds – GIC and Temasek – that respectively handle $247 billion and $157 billion. Such opportunities were the focus of Minister Terzi’s talks with leaders in both Hanoi and Singapore. “Along with the private sector representatives participating in the mission”, Terzi said, “we intend to tap into the unique investment opportunities that Vietnam offers”. Commercial trade between Rome and Hanoi is increasing, and for the moment stands at $2 billion, but Vietnam likes “Made in Italy”, as the opening of a second Piaggio factory in Vinh Puch, near Hanoi, shows. The Minister participated in the opening ceremony with the company’s President Roberto Colaninno and Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Haii. “The Italian government”, Terzi asserted, “wants to disseminate an integration model for Italian firms in Asia, in line with what the Piaggio group has done over the last three years. It intends to encourage Italian firms to launch themselves on the Asian market. In this sense, Vietnam is a major launching pad, considering the friendly relations it maintains with Italy and a government open to foreign investments”. It is, nevertheless, possible to do more to whet Italian firms’ interest in investing in Vietnam, so a road-show has been organized for four major Italian cities following the Asean Awareness Business Forum, to be held at the foreign ministry in Rome on 22-23 March. For its part, Vietnam wants to strengthen relations with Italy and not only from the economic standpoint. After his meeting with Minister Terzi, foreign minister Pham Binh Minh said he agreed on the need to encourage businesses in our respective countries, and called Italy “an important partner in the promotion of relations between Vietnam and the EU”. Apart from greater economic collaboration, the upcoming celebration of 40 years of diplomatic relations will be an opportunity to strengthen collaboration also between universities and, in particular, to foster the dissemination of the Italian language – what Terzi explained , as he announced the April opening of Casa Italia in Hanoi, as “a concrete instrument for spreading our culture”.
The goal of the Singapore leg of the trip was to attract sovereign fund investments. “The reforms, liberalizations and bureaucratic simplifications enacted by the Monti government”, the minister said, “make Italy a more favourable market for these funds, which are showing a strong interest in increasing their presence”. “An interest”, Terzi added, “that corresponds with that of our business community in having greater importance, and a more substantial turnover, in the countries of Southeast Asia”.
Minister Terzi in Singapore today to meet with Foreign and Finance Ministers
One of the aims of Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi’s meetings in Singapore today with Finance Minister Pharmanand Foreign Minister Shanmugam is to attract more sovereign fund investments. Asia’s number one financial centre, Singapore has two funds – the GIC and the Temasek – that respectively handle $247 billion and $157 billion. This visit to Singapore is the first by an Italian foreign minister in the last ten years.
A road show in four major Italian cities to present our business community with all the opportunities for investment and work in Vietnam. This was the announcement by Minister Giulio Terzi during a press conference in Hanoi with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh. The road show will take place after the ASEAN Awareness Business Forum planned for 22-23 March at the foreign ministry in Rome.Also in April, the opening of Hanoi Casa Italia, Terzi reported, underscoring that “the upcoming 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Hanoi and Rome will also be an important opportunity to reinforce collaboration with Vietnam in the spheres of culture, university study and the Italian language, a highly effective instrument for economic promotion”.The anniversary celebrations in March 2013, Tezi explained, “will also be an occasion for setting up a calendar of activities to strengthen our two countries’ partnership”.
29 February 2012
11:30 – Minister Terzi leaves Kochi for Vietnam, second leg of his Asia mission
Minister Terzi left Kochi for Vietnam at the end of a visit to India that focused on bilateral relations and on the incident involving two Italian servicemen. Terzi had a long meeting with his colleague Krishna in which he reiterated the Italian government’s conviction that procedures should be pursuant to international law. The minister also met briefly with Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Gerone to underscore his pledge to resolve the crisis as rapidly as possible. Meanwhile, Under-Secretary Staffan de Mistura, in India for eight days now, will remain in Kochi to personally monitor developments in the affair.
Italy-India: Terzi meets with the two Italian servicemen – New impetus to trade between Rome and New Delhi
The incident involving the two marines, but also the goal of strengthening the strategic partnership between Italy and India, were the focus of Minister Giulio Terzi’s meetings with the Indian leadership on the first leg of his mission to Asia. The minister spoke for ten minutes with the two Italian servicemen, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, at the police guesthouse in Kochi, near Kerala. “I was deeply struck by the quality of these men”, the minister said, adding that he had telephoned their families and updated them on the situation. “I found them in excellent spirits”, he said, “very brave and optimistic that the situation will be resolved rapidly”. Upon his arrival in Delhi, the minister asserted that the “Italy has jurisdiction in the incident involving the two Italian marines, which took place in international waters”, expressing his hope that, in the course of the investigation, “the collaborative and positive spirit that has thus far emerged” would prevail.
The purpose of the Indian leg of Terzi’s mission to Asia, but also in Vietnam and Singapore, is also to strengthen trade relations. According to what emerged from Terzi’s meeting with Indian Minister for Industry Anand Sharma , Rome and Delhi have strengthened relations. The meeting was then opened to the Italian business persons accompanying the minister. “The numbers and opportunities that the Indian Trade and Industry Minister illustrated”, the minister commented, “confirm a need to pursue the integrated public/private approach that inspired this mission to Asia”. “Markets, but also potential foreign investors, are a strategic factor in our economy’s growth, which is one of the government’s priority concerns”, he added.
In this sense, Terzi explained to the Indian minister, structural reforms, liberalisation measures and de-bureaucratisation all combine to make the Italian system a much more favourable investment environment. And if Italy is inviting Indians to invest, Delhi too launched an appeal to the Italian firms represented at the Delhi meeting –Fincantieri, Todini Costruzioni, Techint, Cooperative muratori e cementisti – to invest in India. The world’s largest producer of food, but lagging behind in food processing, India intends to invest $1.3 trillion in infrastructure over the next 5 years in the form of public partnerships. Moreover, it intends to boost manufacturing from 16% to 25% of GDP over the next 10 years, with the ambitious goal of creating 100 million new jobs. Minister Sharma confirmed that he was ready and willing to work with Italian business consortiums, not least in order to jumpstart trade figures that stalled at 8 billion in 2011. This will also be the focus of six joint commissions, whose efforts will focus on infrastructure, manufacturing, advanced innovative research, IT, pharmaceuticals, leather and agriculture/food processing between now and June, when Sharma will take part in the Italy-India Business Forum in Rome. Finally, the two ministers agreed on the need to invest more in Africa, where India is especially interested.