Undersecretary of State, Hon. Manlio Di Stefano, this morning spoke in a video conference at the closing session of the 2022 edition of the High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations, a milestone event in South-East Asia for the continuation and strengthening of economic and strategic relations between the ASEAN Countries and Italy.
“Our commitment to expand Italy’s relations with South-East Asia is continuing. Already more than 700 Italian enterprises are conducting business in the ASEAN market, Asia’s third-largest and the fifth-largest in the world, but there is still an enormous untapped potential both in traditional sectors such as agrifood as well as in innovative sectors in the field of renewable energy sources and the digital transition,” said Undersecretary Di Stefano.
The event, which was attended, among others, by the Malaysian Minister of Economy, Datò Sri Mustapa Mohamed, the Minister attached at the Cambodian Prime Minister’s Office and Secretary-General of the Council of the Development of Cambodia, Sok Chenda Sophea, and the Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN, Satvinder Singh – is co-organized annually by The European House-Ambrosetti and the Italy-ASEAN Association, under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and Confindustria. The 2022 edition of the High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations has up to now convened over 2,000 participants from Italian institutions and ASEAN Countries and representatives from the private sector and was held in person for the first time in two years in Kuala Lumpur on 5-6 July. The event focused on the theme of aerospace, e-economy, green technologies, and “smart technologies”, the sectors on which it is necessary to invest to achieve the target of a common post-pandemic recovery oriented towards inclusiveness and sustainability.
The initiative, which kicked off in 2017, paved the way for the ASEAN-Italy Development Partnership, of which one of the main pillars is economic cooperation, and adds on to the projects already presented by Italy to the Secretary of ASEAN in the field of aerospace, the environment, energy, and connectivity.
“In 2020, through an assertive diplomatic action, we launched the ASEAN-Italy Development Partnership, which was reinforced a few weeks ago with the adoption of the ‘Practical Cooperation Areas’ at the 2nd Italy-ASEAN Joint Committee meeting held in Jakarta, a programmatic document outlining 62 areas in which to collaborate in the 2022-2026 period”, said Hon. Manlio Di Stefano. He added: “I will be back in the region next autumn to finalize further and even more relevant initiatives.”