Close cooperation between Italy and Spain on policies supporting trade and investments in foreign countries, as well as in the promotion of strategic sectors linked to EU funds: this is the result of the meeting held on the 21st of October at the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Farnesina, between Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano and Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez Bértolo.

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Di Stefano and Méndez Bértolo

As Undersecretary Di Stefano said, “the economies of Italy and Spain are highly integrated. During the first seven months of 2020 Italy was Spain’s fourth trading partner in terms of imports and its third in terms of exports. At the same time – he continued – the two economies share a similar structure, with a high relevance of Small and Medium Enterprises. It is therefore evident that we share common interests in developing European policies on digitalization, smart cities and the green economy.”

 “Our government is working with great commitment for the digitalization of the country. But the goal must be set at the continental level, so that Europe can achieve digital sovereignty” added Di Stefano, agreeing with Secretary of State Méndez Bértolo on the need to identify sectors of the economy to work on in order to develop common European paths towards the technological and manufacturing independence of the continent.

The meeting also allowed the two representatives of Italy and Spain to explore the possibility of developing agreements to cooperate on energy issues in foreign countries, with a particular focus on the Maghreb, while at the same time working together on projects of research and development of renewable energies in Europe. The meeting also represented an opportunity to discuss the ELMED project, a power interconnector that will connect Italy and Tunisia and will foster the development of renewable energies in North Africa.