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600 companies at the MFA/ITA Webinar focused on the US market. Ambassador Armando Varricchio underlines the resilience of Italy's companies as the American economy wants to restart

Date:

05/15/2020


600 companies at the MFA/ITA Webinar focused on the US market. Ambassador Armando Varricchio underlines the resilience of Italy's companies as the American economy wants to restart

Washington, 13 May 2020. The Ambassador of Italy Armando Varricchio, and Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Hon. Manlio Di Stefano, opened the proceedings of the webinar "Mercati Live, focus Stati Uniti", organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), in collaboration with the Embassy and ICE's Office in New York. The panel dedicated to the US market in the post-Covid era, was composed by the MFA Director General Angeloni, the President of ICE Ferro, Director General Luongo and the coordinator of the American network Laspina. Over 1.600 Italian companies, mostly SMEs, operating in the United States or interested in the American market, registered at the event, and around 600 attended the presentations and participated in the Q&A session.

As highlighted by Undersecretary Di Stefano, the United States is Italy's third largest trading partner and the first outside the European Union. We are united by a "unique and very solid" relationship made by history, fueled by cultural affinities and by the strong community of Italian origin, but also by the continuous exploitation of new opportunities. The exceptional tools approved by the Government for 1.4 billion Euros in the recent decrees are at the service of Italian exports in essential markets such as the American one. With a bilateral exchange of goods and services that exceeded 100 billion dollars in 2019 and a trade surplus in Italy's favor for more than 33 billion USD, the presence of our companies is driven by a unique bilateral relationship, by a particularly favorable environment for foreign investments, by the strong integration of our production systems and the propensity of our companies towards innovation and the use of cutting-edge technologies. The nature of Italian companies in the USA shows this: on the one hand, large investments, on the other, thousands of SMEs in the most disparate sectors. For his part, Director General Angeloni gave an update of the promotional strategies that fall within the broader context of the export promotion package developed by the MFA.

Ambassador Varricchio described the impact of Covid-19 on the American economy. In the face of a sharp contraction in the first quarter, the Administration and Congress have launched extraordinary fiscal and monetary policy measures for a total of 3 trillion dollars, in addition to further tools approved by the FED for 2 trillions. In this scenario, the Ambassador continued, “in the face of concerns regarding some italian exports and the persistence of tariffs on some of Italy's goods, the "can do" spirit of Italian entrepreneurs and the quality of their products can help Italy overcome the current moment of crisis, knowing that the US is an essential point of reference for the economic recovery for Italy". Varricchio stressed that "the Italian system in the USA is ready to accompany and support through integrated promotion actions adapted in an extremely flexible way to the changing needs".

ICE's President Ferro highlighted how Made in Italy exports to the United States are characterized by a high degree of multi-sectoral diversification and remembered that digitization and training are the two pillars on which ICE aims to support the boost our SMEs. At the core of this strategy: digital, virtual exhibitions, the enhancement of e-commerce, special projects with large-scale distribution and with essential platforms such as Amazon.

ICE's USA network coordinator Laspina illustrated in detail the multiple activities already planned starting from the next months, confirming the services for exhibitions offered free of charge, the newly published start-up program, and the detailed framework of actions in the main sectors such as machinery, fashion, jewelry, furniture, agri-food and wine. Strong emphasis will be placed on digital services and investment attraction.

New methods which accelerate processes already underway in the USA - as confirmed Giovanni Colavita on behalf of the private sector - and can represent a new opportunity for consolidation in a market of over 300 million customers with great purchase capacity, already very oriented towards online commerce.

The first promotional actions will also focus on new targets ts such as less famous but of great importance metropolitan hubs and lesser-known US states, also taking advantage of the fact that some of these states have been largely spared by the epidemic. For this reason, Italy's Government measures in favor of exports, Italian and American subsidized loans, SACE public guarantees, and positions such as temporary export managers and digital export managers are very important tools.

Among the conditions to be considered for the "new normal" - underlined the Ambassador - "we must look at the so called re-shoring of production from China and other countries to the USA or to partners who have "trustworthy" characteristics. In this process, which will continue even after the end of the emergency, the partnership with Europe will benefit and Italy must take advantage of it."

"Never waste a crisis" - concluded the Ambassador - "the Italian network in the US network is ready, the American economy wants to start again and innovation will be the characteristic element of the recovery".


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