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Italy-Russia, a workshop on foreign investment opportunities

Despite the current financial downturn in the eurozone, Italy remains a promising destination for foreign investments, beginning with those countries, such as Russia, that already have strong ties with Rome. This was the substance of the workshop “Invest in Italy: Opportunities, sectors, success stories”, organized on 22 April by the Embassy of Italy in Moscow and whose participants included President of Invitalia Giancarlo Innocenzi Botti and Deputy Director of the Bank of Italy Salvatore Rossi.

Marked growth trend in Russian investments in Italy

As he opened the workshop, Ambassador to Moscow Zanardi Landi underscored the marked growth trend in Russian investments in Italy, and the reciprocal interest between the two countries. Salvatore Rossi offered a summary of the current economic situation in Italy within the broader context of the sovereign debt crisis of the eurozone countries listing, in particular, the objectives of increased financial stability and resumed growth through the transformation of the productive system, which offer excellent opportunities for foreign partner investment.

These opportunities were described in greater detail by President of the national agency for the attraction of business investments and development (Invitalia) Innocenzi Botti. In addition to the presentation of specific projects in the sectors of logistics, tourism, renewable energy and biotechnologies, President of Invitalia and Director of Inward Investment Giuseppe Arcucci pointed out the measures that the Italian government had adopted to make the country more appealing to foreign investors, especially in the fields of high technology and research. Also illustrated were the free information and assistance services offered to foreign investors by Invitalia.

Success stories

The workshop is the first in a series of initiatives that the embassy plans to organise, in collaboration with the principal “System Italy” actors in Russia, and offered an opportunity to showcase several emblematic success stories involving Russian investments in Italy: Director of Business Operations of Kaspersky Lab in Europe Aleksander Moiseev recalled that the computer security firm had been active in Italy since 2001, and invoices an average of approximately €50 million annually.

Potential of new trends in technological innovation

The potential offered by new trends in a range of technological innovation sectors (biotechnologies, pharmaceuticals, biomedicine) were the focus of speeches by head of the Innovation Department of Banca Intesa Livio Scalvini and representatives of the venture capital funds Atlante Ventures, Principia SgR and Earlybird Investments. In the final session, as President of Banca Intesa Russia Antonio Fallico spoke about the MIR Intesa San Paolo-Gazprom Bank fund, set up in July 2012, and its first interventions, it emerged how Italy remains an especially appealing destination for foreign investments, with opportunities for Russians ready to diversify their foreign investment portfolio, not least in view of the complementarity of our productive systems.

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