"I firmly believe that Italy, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean do share not only an inseparable past but also a present made of converging sensitivities and interests, oriented towards building a future of mutual well-being. Italy will remain committed, both bilaterally and in Europe, to encouraging and strengthening this common path". This was stated by Vice Foreign Minister Marina Sereni, speaking at the informal hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the birth of Mercosur.
I want to recall," Vice Minister Sereni continued, "the Italian community's role in the region. Over two million Italians were enrolled in the Registry of Italians residing abroad in 2019. Still, if we also consider Italian descendants, we arrive at about 40 million people. Secondly, Italy is now one of the main investors in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2019, the stock of foreign direct investment in the Latin American region reached 33.5 billion euros. If we consider the flow in 2019 alone, the amount is 4 billion euros. A result well above our direct investment in other areas of the planet".
It is, therefore, time," said the Vice Minister, "to devote to this region attention commensurate with its strategic importance. In this perspective, Italy has always supported the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and MERCOSUR, in the belief that it would be a powerful stimulus for trade and investment relations between our two regions. The agreement concluded offers our companies great opportunities regarding trade in industrial and agricultural goods, services, public procurement, and investment. At a time when Mercosur and the European Union are dealing with the consequences of the pandemic," Sereni concluded, "the agreement can also contribute to the recovery and relaunch of their respective economies”.