On 2 June we celebrate the National Day of the Italian Republic, a special day for a special partner of Romania. On this anniversary, I wish to extend my warmest wishes for prosperity to the Italian people.
There are excellent bilateral relations between our two countries, based on strong historical links and friendship and tight cooperation in different areas of interest at the bilateral, European and international level, within organisations which both Romania and Italy are members of. Romanian-Italian relations are founded upon cultural, political, and economic bonds. We are solid partners in the European Union and NATO.
It is a priority for Romania to maintain an intense bilateral political dialogue, with positive effects on its economic, cultural, and social relations, including through identifying novel opportunities for the sectorial cooperation, as well offering substantial value to the Consolidated Strategic Partnership signed in 2008.
I wish to underline in this regard the amplification of the political dialogue, in the last two years, through a significant number of high level visits and at sectorial level, in areas of major importance for both Romania and Italy, such as European affairs, economy, energy, justice, labour and employment.
Moreover, Romania is a proud participant in World Expo 2015 hosted by Milan, an event that is sure to bring added value to our bilateral cooperation, through the important public and economic diplomacy happenings taking place throughout its duration.
The substance of our bilateral relations is also reflected by the consistence of the economic cooperation reinforced by the dynamic presence of Italian companies in Romania and by the significant contribution which they bring to the development of the national economy.
Italy continues to be Romania’s second business partner, as well as its first investor – according to the number of the Italian companies registered in Romania. It is also important to stress the trade figures between our two countries, adding up to 12 billion euro in 2014, a higher figure compared to the previous year. The community of Italian-capital companies at the end of March 2015 stands at 41.000, an added value to our economic and commercial relations.
I would also like to highlight the valuable role that the Romanian community living in Italy plays in its economic development. According to data published by the Italian National Institute of Statistics, at the end of 2014 there were 1.081.400 Romanian citizens registered in Italy. It is the most numerous of the Romanian communities abroad, as well as the largest foreign community in Italy.
On this occasion, I wish to express gratitude for the support rendered by the Italian authorities towards facilitating the integration of Romanian communities living in Italy. A good integration level for Romanian communities living in Italy contributes to a better promotion of cultural diversity.
At the same time, Romania and Italy enjoy a constant dialogue and a strong cooperation within the EU framework. Both countries share common concerns and interests regarding the main EU topics. We both have the same vision concerning the future of our European and Euro Atlantic region, which aims at ensuring a secure and peaceful life for our citizens and strong economies for enabling prosperity and well-being.
In the end, I wish to express my conviction that the two Latin peoples will continue a special partnership that honours us.
Happy National Day, Italy! Auguri Italia!