Italian Business & Investment Initiative (“IB&II”), an
independent organization dedicated to promoting Italy as an attractive
investment destination, today held its inaugural ‘Italy Meets the Unites
States of America’ summit in New York.
The summit is the first of its kind and will serve as an annual
gathering for Italy’s leaders to communicate directly with
representatives from government, business, the investment community and
civil society on the issues central to Italy’s future success.
“Two years ago, IB&II was formed to provide a forum for U.S. investors
to gain access to talented Italian entrepreneurs and their businesses.
Thanks to recent reforms passed by the Italian government, Italy’s place
within the global economy is being reawakened and IB&II is proud to
support that effort,” said Mr. Napolitano, Founder and President of
IB&II. “Now is the time for investors to look at the significant
investment opportunities Italy has to offer with fresh eyes, and we are
excited for this summit to become a permanent platform through which
leaders can showcase Italy’s strengths.”
Gideon Rose, Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Affairs, served as
moderator of two panel discussions featuring esteemed leaders from
Italian business and politics who spoke on the theme, “Italy:
Opportunity Amid the Eurozone Crisis”. Prof. Vittorio Grilli, Italian
Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Giuliano Amato, former Prime
Minister of Italy (1992-1993; 2000-2001), and David H. Thorne, U.S.
Ambassador to the Republic of Italy and San Marino, discussed the
forthcoming Italian election and the future of the eurozone.
Speaking at the Summit, Minister Grilli said: “Now is an important
moment of transition in Italy. Companies realize there must be a new way
of doing business and they can’t rely only on banks for funding.” Mr.
Amato remarked, “The combination of austerity measures at the state and
European Union levels is not conducive to growth – somewhere there needs
to be stimulus.” Ambassador Thorne observed that now is a good time to
invest in Italy and stated that, “The U.S. stands ready to support
A panel of executives from leading Italian corporations discussed the
current state of the Italian economy and opportunities in the Italian
market for international investors. Speakers included: Mr. Andrea
Ragnetti, CEO of Alitalia; Mr. Fulvio Conti, CEO of Enel; Mr. Paolo
Scaroni, CEO of Eni; and Mr. Maximo Ibarra, CEO of Wind
Telecomunicazioni. The panelists highlighted the significant, untapped
investment opportunities in Italy, dispelling the perceived risk that
currently plagues Italy’s economy.
Speaking about the state of the Italian economy, Mr. Ragnetti said, “The
country is in better shape than it looks or is perceived. We have to be
optimistic. Although Italy has improvements to be made, change can
happen quickly.” Furthermore, Mr. Scaroni highlighted the country’s
strong entrepreneurial spirit when he said, “Italy always finds a way to
innovate. Creativity and design remain in the country and there has been
much progress.” Mr. Ibarra commented on “Italy’s strong fundamentals,”
noting, “Its manufacturing, the incredible wealth of its families and
the small to medium-sized sector are attractive attributes for foreign
investors.” Mr. Conti highlighted the fact that “Enel Green Power is one
of the central investors in the U.S. renewable sector and is a market
leader in the geothermal energy space” to illustrate how Italian
companies are not only investors but also exporters of technologies.
Mr. Enrico Cucchiani, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo and a strong supporter of
IB&II’s mission, said in a statement released today, “The strong
industrial fabric of the country coupled with excellent research centers
and universities can feed further future growth and we are confident
that the next government, whichever it may be, will commit to the much
needed structural reforms.”
About the Italian Business & Investment Initiative
The Italian Business & Investment Initiative (IB&II) is sponsored by a
select group of leading corporations including: Alitalia, Booz & Co.,
Booz Allen Hamilton, Enel SpA, Enel Green Power, Eni SpA, Freeman Spogli
& Co., Generali, GSE, Innogest SGR, Intesa Sanpaolo, Invitalia,
McDermott Will & Emery, Mediaset, Method Investments & Advisory Ltd.,
Sirti, Studio Tributario e Societario STS and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA.
IB&II has also established partnerships with representatives from the
Italian government including Consulate General of Italy in New York and
the Italian Trade Commission, in addition to support from various
organizations including Associazione Laureati Luiss, The American
Chamber of Commerce in Italy, the Business Association Italy America
(BAIA), Fondamenta SGR, Fulbright BEST, The IPE, iStarter, Italia Camp,
The Italian Cultural Institute of New York, Kaminski Partners, Kanso,
the Mind the Bridge Foundation, M31, the National Italian American
Foundation, Panorama This Is Italy, Reed Smith LLP, the Silicon Valley
Italian Executive Council (SVIEC) and Why Not Italy?. For more
information about IB&II please visit www.italianbusiness.org
or email email@example.com
with any questions.