Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno Archi is scheduled for a mission from 22 to 26 July to Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. The mission, which is the first by a member of the current Southeast Asian Executive, is a concrete demonstration of the government’s and the foreign ministry’s commitment to maintaining and promoting close political relations with the countries of one of the fastest-growing regions of the world. The purpose, above all, is to pave the way for Italian enterprise, for which Southeast Asia is currently one of the liveliest and most promising regions. With a view to creating political and economic synergies, and in preparation for the mission, Archi held meetings at the foreign ministry with the Italian business persons from the firms most involved in the area, some of which – mainly in the sectors of major infrastructure projects, energy and communications grids, and the defence and banking industries – will accompany the Deputy Minister on his visit.
In Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Archi will meet with Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, and hold a work session with his counterpart at the foreign ministry, in the course of which Archi intends to draft a 2-year bilateral Action Plan (an agreement, among other things, on support for Italian investments), that could be signed at a later date after this summer. In addition to institutional meetings, encounters are also planned with the Italian business community in Vietnam and the inauguration of a test-circuit for the local Piaggo plant with the local authorities attending.
The Singapore leg of the trip, the main destination for our Southeast Asian exports, falls within the framework of the current phase of intensifying bilateral relations with that City-State, which Archi will have an opportunity to underscore with his interlocutors (the Minister for Trade and Industry and the Deputy Foreign Minister, among others). Particular attention will be dedicated in Singapore to small and medium sized enterprises, which are the backbone of our economy: the Deputy Minister will be signing a memorandum of understanding with his counterpart on SME collaboration, allowing for intensification of production and trade relations in sectors such as furniture, fashion/apparel, precision engineering, metal parts and food/wine. Archi will also be meeting with President Temasek of Singapore’s sovereign fund, one of the top ten in the world, for the purpose of promoting investments in Italy.
The Jakarta leg of the mission will offer an opportunity for the kind of periodical bilateral encounter called for in the Memorandum of Political Cooperation the two countries signed in 2009. In Indonesia – a member of the G20 and the main Southeast Asian economy, as well as a model moderate Muslim country with the most numerous Islamic community in the world – Archi will also meet with the Foreign Minister and the Deputy Minister for Defence and Industry, after having already met this meek at the foreign ministry in Rome with the Indonesian Tourism Minister (and that country’s Commissioner for the 2015 Milan EXPO). The visit will also be an occasion for forging an initial draft of events for the celebration of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2015.