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Business view: Giancarlo Lanna, Chairman, SIMEST

Business view: Giancarlo Lanna, Chairman, SIMEST

Earlier this month, a delegation of Italian businessmen visited the UAE to strengthen economic ties. In this special piece, a key figure from the group tells us why the bond is so important.

November 23, 2010 2:17 by

Whilst the small size of many Italian businesses can sometimes make international competition that little bit harder – underlining, perhaps, the benefits of such companies being accompanied abroad by an umbrella organisation like SIMEST – I believe there is a natural affinity between this uniquely Italian model, very often originating as a family business, and the Gulf tradition of large trading families.

I also believe the Gulf is the perfect candidate for the development of a new light manufacturing industry based on the use of high-tech tools and related services – particularly at a time when the UAE’s government is so committed to a shift away from an economy based on oil and gas towards the services sector.

And of course, just like the UAE, which lies at the heart of a geographic crossroads where commerce and culture coincide, Italy has a strategic centrality all of its own. One third of the world’s trade crosses the Mediterranean, and Asian exports, particularly from China, reach Europe and the US mainly through the routes that touch the Suez channel and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is, in short, a hugely exciting geographic area, and I warmly invite you to sample all it has to offer.

Giancarlo Lanna is Chairman of SIMEST, the Italian government’s public-private finance company for the development and promotion of Italian business abroad.

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