Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, spoke by video conference at the opening of the seventh edition of Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue, organised by The European House-Ambrosetti.
"South Africa and Italy have consistently been united by profound relations. A deep and sincere friendship between two Nations, which are distant in geographical terms alone". - The Vice Minister began: "The Italian government intends to strengthen our multiform relationship at all levels, at the political and economic levels, of course, but extending it to science and culture as well, which are instrumental in establishing a wide-ranging strategic partnership".
"The forthcoming Italian Presidency of the G20 will be a unique opportunity to work together to tackle global challenges. South Africa will have the opportunity to bring into the discussion the main demands of the African continent, including sustainable development, youth and women's empowerment. As these are key priorities for us as well, we are ready to establish synergies with South Africa within the G20 framework". - she continued.
For the Vice Minister, "despite the current difficulties that South Africa - like many other countries - is facing, due to the global situation, our hope is that the forward-looking economic reforms implemented by President Ramaphosa, together with the implementation of the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will bring economic benefits to both our continents".
"We must be prepared for the post-Covid phase. Despite the crisis, indicators show that there will be future opportunities in the economy. A strong Italian-South African partnership can make a difference." - Ms. Del Re concluded.