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Embassy in Washington: meeting with Italian companies

Today, the Italian Embassy in Washington organised a second virtual meeting with the main Italian companies’ top management for investment and turnover operating in the US. The meeting, chaired by Ambassador Varricchio and organised by the Economic-Commercial Bureau of the Embassy with the participation of the coordinator at ICE Bureaus in the US and of the Bank of Italy Financial Officer, provided an opportunity to discuss the current situation in the US and the first signs of recovery for the US economy.

The discussion started by analysing data on the American economy and recalled the importance of the US market for Italian companies, in terms of trade, finance and direct investment. In 2019 the exchange exceeded 100 billion dollars, a record figure, while direct investment in both directions reached 70 billion.

Although this is still a fluid phase in which signs of recovery alternate with elements that are still critical, an optimistic reading for the near future has emerged from the discussion. Many of the participants pointed out the positive impact of the increased use of new technologies and the role of e-commerce, and stressed the importance of avoiding the imposition of new duties between the US and the EU at this stage and of resuming direct contacts with customers, suppliers, and business travel by managers and technicians as soon as possible.

Large Italian companies operating in the US have shown remarkable resilience and are ready to confirm their investments and participate in the recovery, taking full advantage of the potential offered by digitisation processes, the use of new technologies and the so‑called trustee re-shoring.

For his part, Ambassador Varricchio recalled the supporting role to companies that Italian institutions are ready to play, starting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which has presented the Pact for Export in recent days, an action plan to support the export sector based on communication, training, e-commerce and trade fairs and an increasing integration of supply chains.

The Ambassador also recalled the numerous forms of financial support available through SIMEST and SACE and also the American instruments offered by USDFC and EXIM Bank.

The stable and constructive role of Italian business in the US in the current pandemic phase and the commitment to maintain jobs and investments will be enhanced by the Ambassador with the American Authorities.