Virtual sectorial meetings led by the Foreign Ministry a resounding success

Uniting production forces is a priority in these trying times. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the effort with a weeklong series of virtual sectorial tables for the promotion of “Made in Italy”, bringing together more than 150 trade associations and business representatives to devise a common strategy for Italian exports in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

Undersecretary Di Stefano spearheaded the initiative, an “Agreement for exports”, on behalf of Minister Di Maio, aimed at relaunching the internationalisation of the Country System once the crisis is over. This means listening to the new needs emerging from the business world who is facing novel challenges due to the virus. The tables put forward concrete proposals, which will be reflected in the upcoming regulatory framework, to ease the transition to a more digital-based approach and to ensure effective use of the resources that the government will provide to Italian businesses.

“In the coming months, the export will be a crucial sector for the Italian industry recovery.  It will be the first one to start up again, especially in the Asian markets, and to recover from the Covid19 crisis” – said the Undersecretary at the opening of the meetings – “We want to work far in advance, trying to be anti-cyclical”.

Working in a post-pandemic world will require an extraordinary promotion effort, which is going to benefit from an increased budget, thanks to the “Cura Italia” decree. A program of this magnitude is going to rest upon the combined effort of all the actors involved in the promotion of Italy’s productive system: Embassies and consular network, CDP group with SACE and SIMEST, network of ICE Offices and Cultural Institutes, as well as the world of Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad.

During the final table on April 21, the measures included in Italy’s Liquidity Decree were discussed. SMEs expressed their need for a public finance funding to help internationalization, which will come in the form of SACE loan guarantees to support export: at least 30 billion euros of the 200 anticipated will be reserved for them. As far as digitalization is concerned, Carlo Ferro, the president of ICE (the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade), explained that a virtual B2B platform is in the works to allow companies to attend trade fairs now that physical meetings are highly discouraged.

The main production categories responded splendidly to this initiative, both in terms of participation and of ideas put forward, “confirming the importance that the business world attaches to the dialogue with the Government.”

“E-commerce, digital, and an extraordinary communication plan to start a national rebranding will be among the qualifying points of our strategy.” – Said Mr. Di Stefano in the end – “In supporting Made in Italy, today the regulatory framework identifies a single reference point in the MAECI. These tables have been fundamental for us, and we will use the suggestions received also for the proposals of the Foreign Ministry for the economic decrees to come”.

Source: Ministero degli Affari Esteri