Terzi in Africa, in Ethiopia and Mozambique (2-4 May) – Mission with entrepreneurs for System Italy opportunities
Minister Giulio Terzi, accompanied by a high-level delegation of business people interested in investment prospects, is visiting Africa, and more specifically Ethiopia and Mozambique, from today, 2 May, until 4 May 2012. Italy is interested in strengthening its bilateral relations with these two countries, from the perspective not just of combating terrorism and piracy but also of opportunities for the Italian business system. Sectors of interest include infrastructure and energy, especially in Mozambique. Here, ENI has further consolidated its position with a new discovery of natural gas, announced on 27 March. ENI’s discoveries to date confirm the global importance of the natural gas fields offshore from the Rovuma Basin, with reserves verified thus far of nearly 2000 billion cubic metres (also taking into account those found by Anadarko, a US company).
The “Ethiopia and Italy Trade and Investment” Forum in Rome
In early March 2012, the Ethiopia and Italy Trade and Investment Forum was held in Rome. The event saw over 250 B2B meetings between Ethiopian and Italian businesses, especially in the textiles, agro-industry and tanning sectors. Meetings were also organised between major Italian groups in the construction, energy and defence sectors, and the Ethiopian delegation, the aim being to illustrate to Italian companies the investment opportunities in Ethiopia. The Forum was organised and promoted by the Foreign Ministry’s Directorate General for the Promotion of the “Country System”, in agreement with the DGMO, in collaboration with employers’ association Confindustria, ASSAFRICA and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It was preceded by a meeting between Minister Terzi and Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Desalegn.
The Ethiopian Foreign Minister highlighted the strong growth seen in his country over the last decade: growth that reached double figures and has now settled at around 8%. A figure that is even more remarkable, given that growth in the Horn of Africa country is not driven by exports of energy resources. The Ethiopian Government has also approved an economic Growth and Transformation Plan that covers the next five years. Its aim is to exploit the increase in the country’s GDP to build an open market economy and take Ethiopia to Middle Income Country status by the end of 2023.
At the bilateral level, Italy intends to work alongside Ethiopia and Mozambique on the need to address challenges such as piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa region. Minister Terzi has underscored on several occasions the need to assert, at the international level, the principle of immunity for peacekeepers operating within the framework of UN resolutions. A need that also refers to the case of the two Italian marines held in India.
During the Country Presentation on Ethiopia that took place at the Foreign Ministry in March, Terzi spoke of the “special relationship” that has developed under the 2004 agreement that led to the return of the Axum Obelisk to the African country.
Source: Italy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Press Release – 3 May 2012