KUALA LUMPUR – The 6th High Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations continues to highlight ways that ASEAN countries and Italy can strengthen economic and strategic ties amongst each other.
Organised by the European House – Ambrosetti and Associazione Italia – ASEAN, chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi – in collaboration with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), the event was held on July 6 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
This year’s event was held as a hybrid-digital event, touching on topics such as the macroeconomic outlook of ASEAN in the post-pandemic scenario; green technologies for a sustainable future; e-Economy, smart technologies and 4.0 value chains; aerospace and security for resilience; and investments opportunities and cooperation tools between Italy and ASEAN Countries.
As a keynote speaker, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) of Malaysia, highlighted that this High Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations is an effort to help forge closer ties amongst people between ASEAN and Italy.
“At the moment, Italy is Malaysia’s third largest global trading partner among EU Member States. Italian investments are generally perceived in Malaysia to signify quality investments that create quality jobs for locals,” he said.
The minister also stated that Malaysia has been a home for a number of Italian investments giving the example that as of December last year, a total of 75 manufacturing projects with Italian participation (valued at USD363.8 million) have been implemented across the country which incidentally created over 4,320 job opportunities for the locals here.
“Strengthening the partnership with ASEAN countries is a priority for Italy. The Indo-Pacific region, and its large and fast-growing economies, offer unique economic opportunities, and provide a successful example of regional integration.
“Italy considers ASEAN a model of regional integration and a key player in promoting peace, stability and shared prosperity. That is why we became ASEAN Development Partner in 2020 and today we are committed to implementing a broad and ambitious partnership,” he added.
Italy and ASEAN member countries benefit from a solid partnership, that has been formalised in 2020 when Italy was conferred the status of Development Partner of ASEAN.
For Italy, ASEAN member countries offer unique opportunities for business and investment, in both traditional and high technological and innovative sectors. In 2021, total trade between ASEAN member countries and Italy almost reached EUR20 billion.
Meanwhile, Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Investment Promotion and Facilitation) of MIDA, said that Italy, being a front runner of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and digitalisation would provide the support to the ASEAN region in terms of capacity building and technology transfer so the region would adopt and benefit from the 4IR.
“As one of the countries with the most high- tech companies, it reflects Italy’s capability in adopting advanced technology and digitalisation in their manufacturing and businesses. In this regard, technology transfers by Italian firms by setting up firms in ASEAN that offer vast markets and growth opportunities to the Italian firms is a mutually beneficial equation,” he explained.
Furthermore, he said that MIDA is also working with economic representatives including chambers of commerce from different nations and valuable partners like Italia ASEAN to understand the needs of these global counterparts in order to facilitate their business needs.
Manlio Di Stefano, Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said this year’s High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations is a proof of Malaysia and Italy’s common commitment to strengthening mutual relations.
He explained that they are aware that ASEAN has all the assets to create more inclusive, sustainable, resilient and green societies as well as to foster stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
With that, he also said that they have presented the ASEAN Secretariat a wide range of initiatives in several fields, such as space, environmental protection, green energy, digital transition and connectivity, and have already finalised several MoUs with a number of countries in the region, all for working towards better mutual investment opportunities and to ensure a resilient, sustainable and inclusive recovery from global crises.
The 6th High Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations is endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Confindustria (General Confederation of Italian Industry).
During the conference, two proposition papers were presented which touched on energy transition and circular economy in ASEAN: state-of-the-art, national plans and investment opportunities; and ASEAN Smart Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future: Trends and Opportunities to Attract Italian.
This event is part of The European House – Ambrosetti’s broader program of International Summits. Over the last six years, The European House – Ambrosetti has created seven exclusive platforms of interaction among world leaders in several countries: ASEAN, China, France, Middle East, South Africa, USA, European Union – Brussels.
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