Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attraction of France.
The meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of European cooperation in the economic and commercial field, in the current situation influenced by the current pandemic, also given the common prospects for recovery. Stefano and Riester then exchanged information on their respective governments’ plans to accompany the recovery and on the use of the Recovery Fund. The approach followed by Italy with the Export Pact is highly appreciated by the French side, to rapidly activate effective measures that can be adapted to the circumstances, particularly in favour of exporting SMEs. Riester then presented the €100 billion Recovery Package, immediately available to entrepreneurs and enabling French companies to be even more competitive, innovative, and dynamic. The two interlocutors agreed that the extreme interconnection between the economies of the two countries makes coordination necessary at this stage and, at the same time, is a multiplier of opportunities to be seized.
“National recovery plans must be calibrated on national needs, but also aligned with those of other European countries” – said Riester – “The results will be much more effective if we can work together towards common goals”.
Di Stefano was in perfect agreement with this vision and indicated some specific issues on which the collaboration between Italy and France, extended to other European countries, is particularly appropriate: green hydrogen, digital transformation, the fair trade sector, among others. The Undersecretary, therefore, raised the need to raise awareness among the EU institutions so that the wider margins of flexibility introduced by the “Temporary Framework” for non-repayable grants in favour of the entrepreneurial system can be extended at least until the end of the first half of 2021 when support for the productive sector will be even more critical than now.