Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno Archi has visited Japan for the 25th General Assembly of the Italy-Japan Business Group (IJBG) in Tokyo. The IJBG is the annual forum for senior Italian and Japanese business leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest and the outlook for industrial and commercial collaboration.
During his opening address, Archi commented on Italy’s great interest in Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s new economic policy approach, and our export success this year (an 13% increase YoY in the first half of 2013). He illustrated the opportunities for a further development in trade flows following the hoped-for reduction in non-tariff barriers.
Japan is the 3rd non-EU investor in Italy. “We need to work with the Japanese government to improve reciprocal flows of bilateral investment and grasp the opportunities arising from Expo Milano 2015 and the preparatory works to the 2020 Olympic Games”, said the Deputy Minister. Archi himself grasped this opportunity to present the Letta Government’s inward investment plan, Destinazione Italia, to the Japanese business leaders attending the IJBG Assembly. The plan is a new and important pillar in the Farnesina’s “diplomacy for growth” effort.
Deputy Minister Archi also reiterated Italy’s hopes for a positive and balanced outcome to the negotiations for the adoption of Free Trade Agreement between Japan and the European Union.
At a meeting hosted in the Italian Embassy, Archi spoke to numerous members of the Italian business community and expressed his appreciation of our companies’ achievements in the complex Japanese market. He assured them of the Italian government’s continuing collaboration and full support for their efforts. In his concluding remarks, the Deputy Minister stressed the need to start from the many points we have in common – including negative ones such as the lack of energy resources and raw materials and our ageing populations –to increase Italy’s economic presence in Japan. “The ultimate aim”, he observed, “is to recover our economic growth and to fight unemployment, especially youth unemployment”.