ROME, FEBRUARY 9 – Italian exports to the Balkan area fell by 27.2% in 2009, much more than the average decline of Italian exports (-18%). The Italian Economic Development Ministry wants to take action against this poor result, starting at the forum that will take place in Verona on Thursday and Friday. Representatives of Italy’s internationalisation (the ministry, Simest, Customs office, Finest, Italian Trade Commission) and of ten Balkan countries will be present at the forum.The forum was presented today at the Foreign Press headquarters, by Vice Minister for Economic Development in charge of Foreign Trade, Adolfo Urso. Urso explained the choice for Verona as location for the meeting, saying that it is the North-Eastern production hub that is most dedicated to internationalisation, also to the Balkan area. More than 30,000 Italian companies are active in the region. In the past, these companies moved in like ”the infantry”, he added, mentioning the example of the Romanian Timisoara region. Today, the Vice Minister added, this presence should change, it should become more systematic.At the Verona forum there will be representatives – mainly from the Development Ministries -  from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Four hundred Italian companies will have a chance to talk with these representatives. Urso underlined that five topics will be discussed by the Italian entrepreneurs and the representatives of Balkan countries: food; infrastructure and environment; logistics and transport; financial instruments and European integration; international trade. This first step, Urso continued, will be followed on the other side of the Adriatic Sea, by meetings and events in which the Italian companies will be assisted and which could be the start of a more structural presence of our investments. ‘It is an opportunity’, Urso concluded ‘we can’t afford to miss. It will allow us to turn things around already this year, starting to grow again in the Balkan area after the drastic decline of exports recorded in 2009. Our goal is to increase exports by at least 15%, to more than 10 billion euros’.
Source: Vecchio sito IPA