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Deputy Minister Di Stefano receives at the Foreign Ministry the Minister of Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs of Sweden, Anna Hallberg

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Manlio Di Stefano, met at the Foreign Ministry the Minister of Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs of Sweden, Anna Hallberg.

“Sweden is a crucial European industrial power”, stated the Deputy Minister, “very strong in the automotive, digital transition technology and telecommunications sectors. Given the large investments foreseen in our National Recovery Plans, we have decided to organise meeting opportunities for our companies and help them to find new business opportunities in their respective markets.” Emphasis was also placed on European digital sovereignty and on the possibility of jointly studying sectors of priority interest, such as hydrogen, batteries, semiconductors, and 5G. Public and private efforts could converge in these sectors to identify Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

The leading international trade issues were also addressed during the meeting, following the G20 Trade Summit that ended last week in Sorrento and in view of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial meeting in Geneva on 30 November. These included: WTO reform, the European Union’s orientation on negotiations with third countries on Free Trade Agreements, EU-US bilateral disputes, the EU strategy on the Indo-Pacific, and negotiations on fishing subsidies, e-commerce, and trade in services. “Italy,” continued the Deputy Minister, “is in favour of Free Trade Agreements between the EU and Mercosur, Chile, Australia and New Zealand while respecting the Environment and the geographical indications of our most iconic products.”

Finally, on the issues of industry and strategic autonomy, the interlocutors agreed that Europe must develop the most critical value chains, such as those related to renewable energies, health products, semiconductors, and communication technologies, internally and without delay. “It will be necessary to develop some European rules on competition and state aid. It is a crucial step. We can no longer afford to depend on foreign suppliers for vital products for our security. We are working hard to achieve these results,” concluded Di Stefano.

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