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Minister Tajani, together with Minister Urso, opened the first meeting of the Round Table on the consequences of the crisis in the Red Sea for the Italian economy

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Antonio Tajani, together with the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Sen. Adolfo Urso, chaired today at the Foreign Ministry the first meeting of the Round Table on the consequences of the crisis in the Red Sea for the Italian economy.

Minister Tajani said: ‘The Government stands at the side of companies operating abroad, even in crisis situations that need to be tackled with a systemic approach. We have taken immediate action to launch the European operation Aspides, which is playing a fundamental role in re-establishing safety and freedom of navigation in the region: we will do everything to protect the Italian maritime system and our production system from the consequences of this crisis.”

Minister Urso stated:‘Economic security is increasingly the asset on which Italy and Europe shall move, in a global context in which various risk factors persist as a consequence of the conflict in the Middle East. The economic values linked to the crisis in the Red Sea are very high: just consider that the maritime route through the Suez Canal is crucial for Italian exports. A further concern is the risk of a diversion of traffic from Asia to Europe, to the detriment of the Italian port system and the economy connected to it.”

The meeting was attended by representatives of trade associations and companies in the sector, who made an overview on the evolution of the economic framework in the region, seen from an entrepreneurial perspective.

Before the current crisis in the Red Sea, Italy’s trade flows through the Suez Canal amounted to approximately €148 billion, i.e. 42.7% of the country’s seaborne foreign trade and 11.9% of its total foreign trade. The government is working to avert the risk of the crisis consequences becoming structural and to safeguard the centrality of our country in global logistics routes, thus confirming our role as Europe’s logistics platform at the centre of the Mediterranean. This also includes raising the awareness of our international partners, particularly through the Italian G7 Presidency. In this regard, the July meeting of the G7 Trade Ministers in Reggio Calabria, which will be chaired by Minister Tajani, will serve to pay specific political attention precisely to the effects of the Red Sea crisis.