Washington. “We are the most reliable partner of the United States for investments in strategic sectors.” Italy’s Minister of Enterprise and Made, Adolfo Orso, claims Rome’s centrality in the complex economic and political web on which the West builds its confrontation with China and Russia in the coming years.
From Washington, where he is on a three-day mission featuring an agenda that has led him to, among other things, bilateral talks with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, to meetings with National Security Council Space Representative Chirag Parikh. To present a sovereign fund of one billion euros to investors, Orso emphasized the Italian technological excellence and the vitality of our economy.
Orso – who will be in Emilia-Romagna on Monday for the second phase of the reconstruction – explained how there is complete agreement with the United States on the shortening of the supply chain and its autonomy, especially with regard to vital materials. “We cannot shift from relying on Russian fossils to those on important Chinese materials,” reasoned the minister, who found complete agreement with Gina Raimondo on the issue. The two dealt with the issue of technology supply chain, and discussed the so-called “Ukraine reconstruction road” but did not touch on the thorny issue of China’s Silk Road. “We haven’t talked about it,” he concluded, adding that “Italy will decide independently, on the understanding that China is and always will be a major trading partner.”
Orso explained to the American interlocutors the value of a microelectronics plan that would enforce the European chip code. “We’re introducing it to the world and the semiconductor business team has visited many countries to describe the potential of the project.” The ministry’s envoys went to Japan, South Korea, the United States and Japan, which are the four key points capable of developing the digital industry. Italy turns to these countries to be the “ideal partner”. Regarding semiconductors and the development of Intel-branded plants and research centers in Europe, the minister was evasive, contenting himself with talking about “ongoing dialogue with Intel” but “not only with them,” specifically referring to the mission of the ministry’s task force.
The Italian sovereign fund is also part of this strategy. Yesterday, the minister met investors from the public and private sectors to explain the details of this tool, which targets investments in raw and strategic materials in the new geopolitical context. “The existing billion will soon be enriched with new public and private financial resources to increase” the financing capacity of the fund. The activity of Italian industrial policy depends on the confidence that the international community seems to place in our country. And the minister was very frank about this, recalling how “US interest in Italy has grown since last year’s grim predictions that a country was in recession after two quarters of negative growth turned out to be wrong.” On the contrary, Italy has claimed that Orso has achieved better growth rates than all its European competitors and has forecasts – from Istat to the OECD – to increase in 2023. In this context, foreign investments have found new life. Orso cited the example of 200 million euros invested by an American company in Lazio for a pharmaceutical company. Italian exports to the United States have increased, and tourism is driving the growth figures. From this point of view, the inauguration of the first ETA flight yesterday at Dulles Airport on the Rome-Washington line is a tangible sign of the ties between the two countries. –
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