Prior to the Invest in Italy Roadshow held on Dec. 13 at the Italian Embassy, Italian Ambassador to Japan Giorgio Starace spoke about the embassy’s efforts and expectations in enhancing the relationship between Japan and Italy from various perspectives including business and politics.
“This year, the embassy organized 44 business events encompassing many different sectors gathering more than 6,000 guests in total, mainly top managers and buyers of auto, fashion, food, design, chemicals, machinery and many other fields,” said Starace. “We play the role of economic diplomacy.”
The day before the Invest in Italy Roadshow, the embassy hosted an event with Ferrero, the world’s third-largest chocolate manufacturer. “We invited about 150 guests, including representatives of Japanese companies as well as personnel from the Italian Tourist Board and Italian airline Alitalia,” said Starace.
He explained that the embassy tries to combine business and tourism to let them grow on each other. “Research and technology is another field that plays a major role in strengthening ties between Japan and Italy,” he said.
“The number of Italian researchers in Japan is increasing and 18 universities are offering English courses to Japanese students in Italy,” Starace said. Italy has long been the mecca for students who specialize in music and arts, but it is also beginning to flourish as a center of innovation.
“There is also the Italian Design Day; Italy Innovation Day; Foodex, a major trade show for food and beverages; and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where diverse talents and potentials of Italy will be showcased,” said Starace.
Prior to the G7 summit held in Charlevoix, Canada, in June this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a meeting with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and confirmed that the two countries share fundamental values.
“Japan and Italy are also cooperating in the defense sector, too. There was a bilateral meeting on defense in Tokyo this year, and the next one will be held in Rome in January,” he said.
The bond between Japan and Italy extends to cooperation in building relationships with countries in North African and Middle Eastern countries. “Foreign Minister Taro Kono is the only Asian minister who attended the Mediterranean Dialogues held in Italy last month. Japan and Italy share the same interest and we would like to continue encouraging and cooperating with each other as partners,” said Starace.
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