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6th Italy-Latin America Conference – Together toward the future

Growth, development and sustainability policies and cooperation between small and medium sized enterprises, will be the three macro-headings under which the 6th Italy-Latin America and Caribbean Conference sessions will develop. This biennial event, to take place on Thursday and Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, will unite a large number of Central and South American ministers with those of the Italian government around a table that is practically unique on the European panorama. Its purpose is to give greater impetus to the dialogue between Italy and the Latin American society, economy and culture, on the strength of our time-tested institutional bonds with the American sub-continent and with one goal in mind: to confront the challenges of the future together.

Italy-Latin American and Caribbean Conference an “historic event”, says Bonino

That collaboration has, for 10 years now, relied on this event, organised by the MFA with the assistance of the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA), and it is no accident that, speaking on 9 December before the Foreign Press Association, Minister Emma defined it “an historic event”, underscoring its importance within the context of direct relations between Italy and Latin America. The Minister will chair the opening ceremony on 12 December, whose other prominent speakers will include president of the lower house Laura Boldrini and president of IILA Miguel Ruiz-Cabanas. Once launched, the 2-day Conference will involve the foreign ministers of Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Granada, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, the ministers for economic planning of Honduras and Venezuela, the minister for women’s policies of Paraguay, the deputy foreign ministers of Costa Rica, Uruguay and Venezuela and the secretary general to the presidency of the republic of Brazil. Italy will have the high level representation of various ministers and deputy ministers, as well as civil society, local institution and business community representatives.

Focus on sustainable territorial development policies and dialogue among SMEs

This 6th edition of the conference will centre mainly on territorial development policies and cooperation between small and medium sized enterprises, with a special focus on the Italian experience and examination of potential spheres of collaboration with Latin America, where SMEs account for 99% of businesses. To that end, the 6th Latin America and Caribbean Conference will be marked by the greater involvement of those partners, especially IILA, that have actively contributed to outlining its agenda. But the sessions will also reserve special attention for the most hotly debated global economic themes, starting with the promotion of sustainable economic, social and environmental development, and the important role of renewable energy sources and integrated electrical power grids, not least in light of the significant experiences of firms such as ENEL and Terna.

Latin America in continuous social, economic and political evolution

Moreover, the conference is taking place at a special moment for a Latin America in the process of continuing economic and social evolution, whose countries are growing economically as they also gain political weight. Many of those countries host large and deeply-rooted Italian communities that produced dozens of government members, social and economic leaders and top managers; vice-versa, there are also large hard-working and well-integrated Latin American and Caribbean communities in Italy. Both communities have contributed over the years to the development of a dialogue that ranges from cultural and social cooperation to purely economic relations, to collaboration between respective universities.

Side event tomorrow “Building a Woman Partnership for Food Security” with Minister Bonino

Finally, this 2014 edition of the conference will feature a side event organised by the MFA, IILA and the 2015 EXPO within the framework of the “We- Women for Expo” launched on 4 October in Turin ahead of the Universal EXPO to be held in Milan under the title “Feeding the planet. Energy for Life”. Hence the title of tomorrow’s workshop “Building a Woman Partnership for Food Security”, which will consist of two panels: one on food security and the other on nutrition, and whose participants will be women: with Emma Bonino as chair, others will include Deputy Minister Marta Dassù and Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.