“I am very pleased to be in Chile at this moment”, stated Under-Secretary Giro, in Santiago to attend the inauguration of Chile’s President, Michelle Bachelet. “Chile is close to Italy’s heart, a friendship born of our emigration and strengthened during the years of the coup and dictatorship, years in which Italy proved its great solidarity. A good portion of the current Chilean leadership was either educated in Italy or is of Italian descent, such as Minister for Culture Claudia Barattini, and twenty or so members of parliament and some important entrepreneurs are of Italian origin”.
Chile is an enormously solid nation, with 5% annual growth and low unemployment. “The president has declared her commitment to giving priority to the reduction of inequality and has the consensus for approving major reforms ranging from the educational system to fiscal reform”, the Under-Secretary continued.
“Relations between Italy and Chile are focused on the construction of a shared future, and there is agreement on the substantial contribution that SMEs can make to the development of economic relations between our two countries. There is growing Chilean interest in Italian expertise in the fields of restoration and the preservation of the country’s artistic and architectural patrimony. Scientific cooperation is intense, with Chile hosting some of the most important universities and research centres in Latin America. There are no less than 161 agreements in effect between Italian and Chilean academic institutions”, Giro concluded.
The Italian business presence in Chile includes several, well-established large and medium-sized firms. The Under-Secretary met with leading Italian community representatives, his counterpart Edgardo Riveros and new Minister for Culture Claudia Barattini, who lived in Italy during the Pinochet dictatorship, and with whom Under-Secretary Giro presented the agenda of the Year of Italian Culture in Latin America scheduled for 2015. Giro also visited with new Defence Minister Jorge Burgos to review the main areas of bilateral defence collaboration.