For its second Market Access Panel, the summit highlights three very different EU nations with compelling stories: Ireland, Italy, and Luxembourg. Each country will be represented on the panel by seasoned trade representatives. Pierre Franck is consul general and executive director of the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office. Mary McEvoy is Vice President of Technology, Consumer and Business Services for IDA Ireland. Valerio Soldani is Head of Start Up and FDI for the Italian Trade Agency in New York.
We sat down, virtually speaking, for a Q&A with Valerio Soldani regarding Italy’s role in the panel.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the comparative advantages and opportunities that set Italy apart from the EU as a whole.
Italy is a key gateway to the EU market: the 3rd largest economy of the EU and 9th in the world. Italy is the 5th largest EU trading partner of the United States. Its strengths include strong manufacturing clusters (2nd in Europe), fast moving consumer goods, fashion and food & beverages. Italy has also been spotlighted for investment opportunities in a thriving technology environment, supported by its large number of universities, strong academic research, best in the EU patent growth rate, and a structured system of incentives to boost foreign investments.
Q. What is Italy looking for in its trade relations with Texas and the US?
Texas is a top priority US state in ITA's promotional and investment attraction strategy. Thriving ITC, aerospace, and energy industry verticals could find perfect partners in Italian companies. ITA has an office in Houston (along with 4 other US offices) as a single stop shop in navigating opportunities, incentives, costs and business potential. The US is Italy’s most important extra-EU market in terms of exports and direct business presence.
Q. How do events like the summit benefit participants, whether they’re national trade promotion agencies, trade groups, or business owners/entrepreneurs?
Events like the summit are powerful platforms to share business opportunities for trade promotion agencies and build a wider network of professional contacts in key states like Texas to foster further collaboration and show how ITA helps US investors. Summits like this one are really helpful to foster and establish a high value professional network with potential business partners for our industrial and trade system.