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Antonio Fallico: Italy and Russia remain key economic partners

April 13, 2018, Catania, Moscow. The X Russian-Italian business forum was held today in Catania (Sicily, Italy).

The participants focused on trade and economic relations between Italy and Russia, medicine and pharmaceuticals, technological innovations and innovative enterprises, as well as tourism.

The seminar was organized by the Association Conoscere Eurasia, the Chamber of Commerce of Catania, Ragusa, Syracuse and Eastern Sicily, the Roscongress Foundation, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, with the support of Banca Intesa, Intesa Sanpaolo group and Catania airport.

The representatives of the business from Sicily and Russia were addressed by three dozen Russian and Italian entrepreneurs, and also by the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Catania, Ragusa, Syracuse and Eastern Sicily Pietro Agen, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Italy Sergey Razov and the President of the Airport of Catania Daniela Baglieri.

Participants of the business forum stated that in 2017 the trend of the trade turnover between Sicily and Russia has changed, returning to growth after a period of decline. Last year its volume exceeded 2 billion euros, increasing by 37.5% compared to 2016. Sicily became the second Italian region after the industrialized Lombardy in terms of volume of the trade turnover with Russia. The growth was mainly due to rise of imports from Russia as Sicilian exports amounted to 25.7 million euros, although it grew by 33.5% over the year.

Among the topics discussed at the business forum was the cooperation of the Kaliningrad’s Baltic Federal University named after Immanuel Kant and the University of Catania. The cooperation agreement between the universities was signed a year ago.

"Italy and Russia remain key economic partners. Entrepreneurs from our two countries are focused on effective cooperation and development, despite the current global geopolitical situation. More than ever before, the Italian and European business communities must influence their governments to return to dialogue and to common sense. Business diplomacy is an unbiased mediator for the restoration of relations with Russia," said at the opening of the business forum Antonio Fallico, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banca Intesa and President of the Association Conoscere Eurasia.

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