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New York

>>>ANSA/ Italy Now roadshow in US to promote investment

Junior Minister for Economic Development at symposium

>>>ANSA/ Italy Now roadshow in US to promote investment

New York, January 13 - Now is the right time, with the right conditions, to invest in Italy, according to the Junior Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda, who is currently in the United States to promote trade with the two-city symposium "Italy Now: Investment, Opportunity, Impact". The first was held was held at Bloomberg headquarters in New York City on Tuesday, and is part of a larger global roadshow by the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) called "Invest in Italy", which held similar events late last year in Turkey and Japan. Calenda said the Italian government's strategy to attract foreign capital rests upon two pillars: structural reforms in various sectors and a new model of governance. A positive picture of Italy emerges from the data, and despite the fact that there is still a long ways to go, foreign investment represents an essential element for the country's growth, he said. "Italian exports have grown 37% between 2009 and 2015," said Calenda, adding that the government is "dismantling a system that is has lasted over 40 years and has been hostile to business. "In 2015, GDP began to grow again with an 0.8% increase, while for the current year it's predicted to rise by 1.6%," he said. Riccardo Monti, president of ICE, and Claudio Costamagna, president of Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), and were also in attendance at the roadshow, which moves to San Francisco on Wednesday. Monti said foreign investments in Italy grew 50% in 2015, totalling 30 billion dollars, although he specified that those figures were still preliminary, with definitive data to be released in May. Costamagna, who spoke before investors together with Erik Nielsen, global chief economist of Unicredit, called it a "magic moment" for Italy, but cautioned that it must be managed and that there are "anomalies" that have to be corrected. "People look at Italy, but often the package isn't marketable to international investors," Costamagna said, stressing that the role of CDP is that of facilitating private investments. "We can't be substituted by the State, we won't be a new IRI," he said, referring to the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction founded in 1933 to face the banking crisis of the Great Depression. Costamagna said CDP's objective is to "work in a way that creates profit, but we don't have to maximize profits". He said Italy is made up of a fabric of small and medium-sized businesses that in order to survive must grow in terms of investment and capital, or sell. "Once it was thought that small was good, but now everyone knows that's not the case". Andrea Illy, president and CEO of Illy Caffè, was also at the symposium, as well as David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. GE Avio, in fact, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Italy's Ministry of Economic Development, together with the regional governments of Piedmont, Campania and Puglia, to study investment opportunities totalling about 200 million euros. That agreement is set to be ratified in Italy.

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