The Italian Vice-minister for foreign affairs Marta Dassu’ will have a series of institutional encounters in Bucharest (17-18 october) regarding bilateral and European issues. She granted an exclusive interview for Nine O’Clock on this occasion
Italy is a key economic partner for Romania. How do you see future cooperation between our Countries in the economic and commercial fields?
Italian enterprises are willing to keep on investing in Romania as they have done – despite the recent international economic and financial crisis – since the ‘90s and in the last years. I cannot envisage and foresee anything else than continuity with the past, given the excellent economic and commercial relations between our Countries. EU membership plays a fundamental role in making our enterprises look at the Romanian market with confidence. This also applies for Romanian companies investing in Italy. In the past few years the bilateral exchange between our Countries has grown reaching an historic record of 12 billion euros in 2011. The number of Italian enterprises registered in Romania (34.185 at the end of 2012) is indeed the highest among Romanian economic partners. Several Italian large groups as well as small and medium enterprises are the actors contributing to the successful results. Many of them have recently opened or will open soon new production facilities or training centers, making bilateral exchange even more dynamic.
– What are the main activities in the field of foreign affairs to which the Italian Government will engage in the near future?
Italy has a very intense period ahead: in the second Semester of 2014 we will hold the rotating Presidency of the European Union; in 2015, Milan will host the Universal Exhibition. We are already working very hard to make possible for Italy to be a true protagonist of the international scene in the next future. It is a precious occasion for enhancing growth. Of course, it is not the first time for Italy to hold the Presidency of the EU, but it will be a key moment – right after the European election – for the EU itself. We will put growth and employment at the center of our agenda for the semester.
As far as the EXPO Milan 2015 is concerned, more than 130 countries will be in Milan and number of Countries participating is growing. We have launched the idea of “thematic clusters” under the main theme “Feeding the planet. Energy for life”. We are confident that Milan could become a cornerstone to boost Italy’s economic growth, both because of an increase in the number of expected visitors to the Exhibition and because of the focus on the agro-food sector, which makes Italy so well-known worldwide.