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Undersecretary Tripodi in Brussels for FAC Trade

The Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Maria Tripodi, participated, by proxy of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani, in the formal meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Council held today in Brussels. On the agenda were the future of EU trade policy, EU-Africa trade relations, and the follow-up to the 13th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference, held in Abu Dhabi last February.

In the course of her speech, the Undersecretary stressed the importance of trade as a fundamental component of European competitiveness, pointing out the urgency of improving consistency between the various European policies to that end. She also recalled the need to continue to expand the EU’s network of trade agreements – diversifying the supply chains for Italian companies and expanding the markets for Italian exports – and to ensure the right balance between the opening up of markets and the need to protect Europe’s security and economic interests. With regard to trade relations with Africa, the Undersecretary emphasised the importance that Italy attaches to relaunching and strengthening relations with the continent, with an approach of equal cooperation, aimed at the pursuit of mutual interests, in keeping with the spirit of the Mattei Plan. Such strengthening can be carried out through a multiplicity of instruments and in flexible ways, from the deepening of traditional partnership agreements to new agreements to facilitate sustainable investments, to partnerships on raw materials, without neglecting synergies with assistance and cooperation instruments, as well as connectivity initiatives such as those envisaged by the Global Gateway.

Finally, the Undersecretary reiterated the need to continue to work to preserve and modernise the multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organisation, while ensuring a level playing field in the markets. In this context, Undersecretary Tripodi recalled that the reform of the dispute settlement system and the nexus between trade and industrial subsidies as well as the relationship between trade and the environment are of particular relevance for Italy and are also central issues on the agenda of the G7 trade under Italian Presidency.

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