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2015 ANCE Report – Gentiloni, Farnesina and government help enterprise with foreign investment opportunities

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian government are helping Italian businesses take advantage of foreign investment opportunities, as foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni pointed out in a speech at the presentation of the 2015 Report by ANCE (the Italian national builders association) today at the Farnesina. Present also were Under Secretary Della Vedova and Secretary General Michele Valensise.

“Despite a number of crisis factors, global prospects for the infrastructure sector point to enormous growth”, the minister added. Gentiloni pointed out how some markets still hold “major potential” marked by “growing urbanisation” and the development of the middle classes, as is happening in Eastern Europe or Latin America.

Investment areas in Africa

 “Africa in particular”, Gentiloni underscored, “will need many billions in investments over the coming years in infrastructure and energy. Albeit cautiously, our firms are going to have to set their sights there, taking advantage not least of the support of our diplomatic network”, said the minister, recalling Italy’s construction expertise.

Turnover up 10.2%

The numbers the ANCE Report provides confirm the 10th year of growth for construction firms abroad, with an increase of 10.2% in turnover: over 237% in ten years (from 3 to 10 billion euro). This compared with a domestic market contraction, ANCE Vice President Giandomenico Ghella pointed out, who said he was confident despite the growth slowdown in oil producing countries and drop in the prices of raw materials of emerging nations, which have produced a slight dip in investments. With building sites in 85 countries, 187 new contracts, and an increased presence on European markets with new acquisitions in France and Poland, construction is clearly a growth industry, Ghella underscored. The goal now, “is to support the international outreach of small and medium-sized enterprises, and help them choose the best markets”.

Cooperation: funds to double in 4 years

During his speech, Minister Gentiloni mentioned the reform of the Italian Development Cooperation, which provides for innovative ways of using existing financial instruments and that will give impetus to what is a key foreign policy tool. “An inversion in trend”, the minister called it, with the goal of “earmarking funds equal to 0.30% of GDP over the next four years, as compared with an initial 0.17%”.

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