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The Farnesina creates a Crisis Unit to support companies exporting to Russia and Ukraine

Following a request made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, the Farnesina has convened the first technical meeting of a Working Group aimed at assessing the overall impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict to the detriment of Italian companies exporting in that area.

The meeting, coordinated by Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni, Director General for the Promotion of the Country System of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC), was attended by the Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, Hon. Laura Castelli, the Task Force set up by the Ministry of Economic Development to monitor and assess the consequences of the conflict on the supply chain and prices of raw materials, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, and the other competent Directorates General of the Farnesina. The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and Simest were also involved.

The meeting made it possible to move forward on a first quantitative assessment of the impact caused by the conflict on the exchange with Russia – considering the sanctions against Moscow and the possible countermeasures Russia could adopt as a response – and on the functioning of Italian companies active in Russia and Ukraine. The critical issues related to finance, logistics, and supply of raw materials faced by Italian companies in the areas affected by the conflict were also discussed.

As an operational follow-up, it was agreed that a Crisis Unit should be set up, coordinated by the Farnesina and specifically dedicated to facing the negative consequences the current situation is causing for Italian exporting companies. Considering the complexity of the problems being discussed, the Ministries of Economy and Finance, of Economic Development, of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, and of Ecological Transition as well as Agencies and Bodies depending on them, will also be invited to take part in the work of the Unit, in their respective spheres of competence.

Similarly to the activities carried out by the Farnesina during the most acute phase of the pandemic, which resulted in the adoption of the Pact for Export in June 2020, the sectoral counselling tables of the economic representatives coordinated by the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Manlio Di Stefano, will be immediately reactivated for this emergency. Involvement by the highest number of associations exposed to the emerging problems, including Confindustria, Confapi, Coldiretti, Confimi, and Filiera Italia, will make it possible to direct all needs and proposals coming from the export national system to the designated Crisis Unit.

In the meantime, MFAIC will keep in contact with European institutions on the subject of possible compensation measures for companies being studied by the European Commission and the potential waivers to be implemented in the current situation to the regime on State aid, to also make it possible to use the support instruments for internationalization at the national level, as in the case of the 394/81 Fund managed by Simest and the ITA promotional funds.