The Second Italian Arab Business Forum, organized under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA-ICE), with more than 600 participants, was a great success. The Forum, organized in cooperation with the Union of Arab Chambers, the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce, the UAE Embassy in Rome and Confindustria (the main Italian industrial association), was a unique event of its kind in the Italian economic landscape and a perfect networking opportunity for all the participants.
Welcoming remarks were held by the Chairman of Confindustria Vincenzo Boccia; the Dean of Arab Ambassadors Hassan Abouyoub; the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Khaled Hanafy; the President of Promos Italia, Giovanni da Pozzo; and the representatives of Intesa Sanpaolo, Marco Trevisan and GK Investment Holding, Kamel Ghribi, respectively Main Sponsor and Platinum Sponsor of the initiative, as well as JIACC Chairman Cesare Trevisani.
The first part of the day was devoted to the official Opening Ceremony featuring Keynote remarks from H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy; H.E. Michele Geraci, Italian Undersecretary of State for Economic Development, and H.E. Manlio Di Stefano, Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
During the ceremony the focus was on the strong ties and outstanding opportunities binding Italy and the United Arab Emirates in particular, and the MENA region in general. Indeed, the Forum provided the opportunity to strengthen such ties, address challenges and envision the path ahead. Indeed, a focus on Italy – UAE relations saw the participation of prominent guests such as Antonino Laspina (Italian Trade Agency Director for Marketing), Paolo Glisenti (Italian Commissioner for Expo 2020), Alessandro Decio (CEO SACE) and Massimo Falcioni (CEO EIC).
The morning session concluded with the announcement of the partnership agreement between SACE (Italian Credit Agency) and Etihad Credit Insurance, as well as with the signing of three Memorandum of Understanding between the Joint Italian Arab Chamber of Commerce and, respectively, ISPRAMED; Lebanese Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and the Chambre de Commerce de la Région de Rabat-Salé-Kénitra.
The afternoon sessions were designed to tackle topical issues as Innovation and Digital Transformation; Logistics and Infrastructures; Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.
Each panel, featuring distinguished speakers from each of the above mentioned sectors, was meant to shed the light on innovating projects, investments and partnership opportunities.
In particular, the first panel on innovation and digital transformation, moderated by JIACC’s Innovation Business Developer Michela Carloni and introduced by Confindustria’s Chief Economist Andrea Montanino, addressed the topic horizontally across different sectors, thus featuring the participation of Donatella Banchi and Francesco Graziano (BH-GE Nuovo Pignone), Stefania Di Serio (Almaviva), Paolo Garonna (FeBAF), Marco Gazzino (Enel X), Paolo Rotelli (Gruppo San Donato) and Salem Bin Shabib (Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development).
The second panel, moderated by JIACC’s VP Pietro Paolo Rampino and introduced by the Director of the SRM Research Center Massimo De Andreis provided participants with an insightful overview of the state of the art and the path ahead in the field of logistics and infrastructures thanks to Ahmed El Mofty (East Port Said Deveolpment), Gianluigi Geddo (Itinera), Riccardo Monti (Italferr), Mauro Giacobbe (Leonardo Company), Mohammad Juma Al Musharrkh (Invest in Sharjah) and Ingrid Paoletti.
The third panel, moderated and introduced by UNIDO Investment Promotion Expert Andrea Carapellese, featured the presence of H.E. Khadim Al Darei (Al Dahra Holding), Rapahel Debbané (Debbané Agri Holding), Ares Ferrigni (Wallfarm), Badr Idrissi (Atlan Space), and Claudia Laricchia (Future Food Institute)
In total, 39 speakers enriched the Forum with their insightful contribution and outstanding presentations.
The Forum served also as an effective networking platform both at a private and a public sector level. Several bilateral meetings did indeed take place within the Forum, thus confirming the importance of the event.
As JIACC, we would like to thank all the Arab Embassies in Rome as well as the Italian Embassy in the UAE for their support. A special thank goes to each of our 600 participants for their enthusiastic commitment, the national and international Institutions for their exceptional contribution and all of our Sponsors, especially Intesa Sanpaolo, GK Investment Holding and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, without which we could not rely on such a great result.
A particular thank also to all of our Partners. Among them the Sharjah Investment Authority, Emirates, Shurooq, Almaviva, Itinera and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce for their dedicated support.
Furthermore, a great thank to all our speakers for having introduced interesting and contemporary economic issues in this crucial moment for Italian Arab economic relations. To see the presentations discussed during the Forum, click here.
See you in the Third Italian Arab Business Forum, October 2019, Milan!
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