The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, returned to Rome from his mission to Vietnam and Singapore. Arranged several months ago and preceded by a thorough preparatory work, the mission offered the opportunity to corroborate Italy’s political and economic relations with two key States in an area of the world – Southeast Asia, with more than 650 million inhabitants – that are of great relevance for Italian interests.
The Minister’s agenda scheduled very thorough and intense meetings. In Vietnam, with the Chairperson of the National Assembly, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh; he also met with the President of the People’s Committee (the equivalent of mayor) of Hanoi and with the Vice President of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, and respectively co-inaugurated with them the exhibition “La bellezza della conoscenza” (“The Beauty of Knowledge”) and a special exhibition of aerial views of Italian locations at sunset; in addition to more ad hoc meetings followed by debates with representatives of Italian companies and members of the Italian community operating in the two Vietnamese cities. In Singapore, Minister Moavero met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and with the Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan; then, together with Ambassador Chio Kiat Ow, he had a meeting with the Minister for Communications and Information and Minister of International Trade, S. Iswaran; a structured debate with the executives of Italian companies operating in the Country was also organised in Singapore, as well as a meeting with members of the Italian community.
The outcome of the several meetings stands to confirm the premises that motivated the mission. Both Countries are open to Italian investments and intend to invest in Italy; in this respect, mention should be made of the significant importance of the investment trusts and of Singapore-based companies on the global scene. Imports of Italian products are solid and on the rise every year, especially in the agri-food sector, the machinery and electronics industry, furniture and furnishings, construction components, fashion and luxury goods. Trade volumes are increasing and reveal stimulating margins for improvement. There are great opportunities offered in the sector of infrastructure and services, with a dynamic local market with a great growth potential. There is also a high demand for Italian culture, which can translate into concrete activities such as, for example: special and/or continuing on-site events, partnerships between museums and art agencies, high-quality tourist flows, providing assistance and job opportunities in the survey, restoration and conservation of historical and cultural heritage.