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FARNESINA: Diplomacy for growth – Initiatives for Italian companies from Egypt to Israel and the Territories

A series of trade missions and initiatives to facilitate contacts by Italian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, with possible foreign partners. This will be a key feature of this autumn’s “economic diplomacy” drive to revitalise exports, one of the main growth factors. The starting point will be the Middle East, where Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi has just completed a visit to pave the way for initiatives at the “System Italy” level.

Italian-Egyptian Business Council

The first such initiative, in just a few days’ time, will be the Italian-Egyptian Business Council to be held in the margins of the visit to Rome by the Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, on 13 and 14 September. When he met President Morsi last week in Cairo with his Greek, Cypriot and Maltese colleagues, Terzi commented that “Egypt is a country of fundamental importance to Italy, to Europe and to the region. We must work fully with it at the diplomatic level and to promote our business presence”.

Italian-Israeli inter-governmental summit

On 25 October it will be the turn of the Italian-Israeli inter-governmental summit in Tel Aviv, which will involve Prime Minister Mario Monti and a number of ministers. “Israel is a driver of Italy’s growth in the Mediterranean”, underscored Terzi recently in Jerusalem. October will also see a meeting of the third Italy-Iraq Mixed Commission, followed in November by a visit to Baghdad by Terzi and a delegation of business people.

Italy-PNA Joint Committee

November will also see a meeting of the Italy-Palestinian National Authority Joint Ministerial Committee and a country presentation in Rome featuring Palestinian representatives. Italy is also considering whether to open a Foreign Trade Institute office in Ramallah, which would operate under our Consulate General in Jerusalem. Another possible initiative is to set up a Palestinian Business Council to foster contacts between Italian and Palestinian entrepreneurs. These comments were made by Terzi during the press conference with his Palestinian colleague, Riad Malki, in Ramallah.

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