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Italy-Latin America: business mission sets off for Colombia and Chile

A business mission from 19 to 23 April, and made up of 65 firms, 5 business associations, 5 banking groups, for a total 130 participants, will make its first stop in Bogotá, Colombia and go on from there to Santiago in Chile, Latin American’s two most prominent countries for level of openness to global trade and foreign investments. The initiative will have a strong focus on the sectors of mechanical equipment, food industry, green technologies, biomedicine and infrastructure (including ICT).

The mission is being promoted by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Farnesina and organised by Confindustria, ICE Agency for the foreign promotion and internationalization of Italian businesses, ABI, RETE Imprese Italia, the Alliance of Cooperatives and Unione Camere. The Italian delegation will be led by Deputy Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda and Licia Mattioli, President of the Confindustria’s technical committee for internationalization and foreign investors, Riccardo Maria Monti President of ICE and Guido Rosa, member of the Committee of the ABI Presidency for international relations.

Each leg of the mission will open with a bilateral Economic Forum followed by sector-focused workshops and business meetings between Italian firms and their local counterparts. The sessions will begin in Bogota on the morning of 20 April with the Italy-Colombia Economic Forum, with the participation of Colombian economic institution representatives, who will include Minister for Industry Cecilia Alvarez. The mission’s other central moment will be the Italy-Chile Economic Forum on 22 April with, among others, Minister for the Economy Luis Felipe Cespedes. The final day of the mission, 23 April, will be dedicated to organized tours.

Colombia and Chile are two of the main protagonists of the new economic season now under way in Latin America, distinguished by high growth, institutional stability and openness to international trade. Average GDP growth over the last 15 years has been, respectively for Chile and Colombia, 3.6% and 4.3%, compared with a regional average of 2.6%. With generous and effective government policies on the promotion foreign investment, Colombia and Chile have ample raw materials, are very open to global competition and are leaders in efforts at regional integration that are of great interest to Italian firms: the Pacific Alliance, which since 2012 ensures the free circulation of goods, services, capital and persons among Latin America’s most dynamic economies (Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico). four