The second ASEAN Awareness Forum was held on 30 September, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Promos agency of the Milan Chamber of Commerce. The Forum’s aim is to make inform the Italian business world of the opportunities and prospects in one of the world’s most dynamic regions, with an average growth rate of more than 5% over the past 10 years. The meeting placed special attention on the sectors of infrastructure, consumer goods/mass distribution and machinery.
ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)
The Forum took place on the eve of the completion of the process for the establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will foster the creation of a single market of over 600 million consumers. According to Director General for Country Promotion Andrea Meloni, as was true of the Forum’s first edition in 2012 it continues to confirm the Italian government’s determination to broaden comprehension of the opportunities that ASEAN offers Italian businesses. The foreign ministry and its diplomatic network joins other Italian institutions in underpinning their efforts to develop relations with those countries.
“Forum Italia – Asean” Foundation
The meeting launched the Forum Italia-ASEAN Association, headed by Enrico Letta. An initiative promoted by the AREL Foundation and the Asia Observatory, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Economic Development and the ICE Foreign Trade Agency to strengthen dialogue, comprehension and exchanges with the ASEAN countries.