Italy and UAE hope to be stronger than ever in 2016-17
ROME -- Italy and the United Arab Emirates have renewed their links with a large number of joint projects set for 2016-2017. They have around 30 collaboration projects, which focus particularly in the fields of economy and culture, and are being overseen by the Italy-Arab Emirates Association.
Francesco Rutelli, the former Italian Vice-President, Minister for Culture and Rome Mayor, is overseeing the projects for the Italian side and finished a recent trip to the Gulf country with the first of their joint meetings. The president of the Emirates board is S. E. Homaid al Shemmeri, the CEO of Mubadala Aerospace, Engineering and Energy, who also owns the entirety of Piaggio Aereo, the multinational aerospace manufacturing company based in Genoa, is heading the Arab delegation. Together with him are 19 high-level representatives of the principal economic, production and social organisations of the country.
In 2015 the commercial trade agreement between Italy and the UAE totalled a record seven billion euros, with Italian exports breaking their quota of six billion. “Yet we can still do so much more,” says Ruteeli. “I’ve come across huge possibilities of collaboration for investment between the two countries and for cooperation in the cultural field. There is an opportunity to reinforce the interest seen for the Milan 2015 Expo experience, with the view to Dubai 2020. To begin with, in fact, the Emirates have set in motion a policy of diversification from their oil based economy, an example which has then been followed by various other countries in the region.”
Rutelli has had a series of meetings with representatives from investment funds, the Emirate airline, Dubai port, economic organisations in the energy and sustainability sectors, and with the centre of studies for security. Finally he met with tourism managers, as this is a large area in which Italy and the United Arab Emirates hope to build links.
He elaborated by saying, “Last year 300,000 Italians visited the Emirates, but we need to reinforce our offering, to recall the classes who are best-off from this and other countries in the region. Also, like this we build a stable meeting of civilisations, marginalising extremists, rejecting liquidator slogans about Islam, and valuing the wish for a balance, which is strong amongst the more advances Gulf States.”