Giovanni Atena
Italian Trade Agency (ITA)
Expert Contributor

Italian Trade Agency Bolsters Strategic Sectors

By Giovanni Atena | Tue, 05/12/2020 - 11:02

The Italy System in Mexico brings together all the Italian institutions and associations present in the country, such as the Italian Embassy, ​​the Italian Institute of Culture, which promotes Italian culture and language in the world, and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) that I have the honor to direct. 
The ITA is the institution within the System that manages the diffusion of Italian technologies and products in Mexico. It also guarantees assistance to Italian companies that want to explore the Mexican market or that are already in the country and that need some support service and institutional collaboration. Added to these collaborations are the Italian-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and SACE, a financial and insurance group specialized in export credits.

According to figures from the Ministry of the Economy, there are more than 4,000 companies with Italian capital in Mexico. These companies are involved in different economic activities and sectors, including tourism, the agri-food industry, the energy sector, automotive, aerospace, the ophthalmological sector, as well as fashion and design.

In the energy sector, Eni is the first foreign company to extract crude for two years in a row in Mexico. Another example is Saipem, which has participated in different modernization projects for the country's refineries, and Enel Green Power, which manages several alternative energy projects.
Furthermore, Italy stands out for the presence of companies such as Pirelli and FCA in the automotive sector or Ferrero in the food sector. Following the success of Italian companies in Mexico, in just under a year the Leonardo Company, which has been operating in Mexico for several decades, consolidated its presence by opening a representative office with interesting plans for expansion in the medium term.

Faced with the current situation in which we find ourselves as a result of COVID-19, the ITA has concentrated its efforts to support Italian and Mexican companies in Mexico. Thus, it has developed an important program of public support and investment in the aforementioned sectors to help alleviate the crisis that is impacting Mexico and the world.

ITA will carry out a €500,000 (US$541,000) support initiative to promote, with marketing and advertising, Italian products in the food, fashion, optical and other sectors in Mexico. It will also carry out other initiatives at the same time. For example, we are encouraging trade missions for Italian operators in sectors that we find to be strategic, such as energy and infrastructure.

We are convinced that Italy can contribute to good practices and technology in energy efficiency for both the public and private sectors, thanks to lessons Italy has learned from being a marginal producer of oil in the world market, even having faced high prices starting in the 1970s.
Likewise, ITA believes that Italian companies have a lot to contribute to infrastructure projects and other strategic sectors for Mexico, such as the construction and development of airports. Particularly in the aerospace sector, Italian companies have excellent technologies that contribute to improving operability, as well as expertise in airspace control, project development, infrastructure construction and even air terminal management.
Other projects where we stand out are in the area of ​​railway construction and modernization. Italy is a country with an extensive network of three railway systems covering the entire national territory, so we can share our accumulated experience on the subject. It should be noted that the train network is used for two purposes: commercial and as a means of passenger transport.

To enhance the opportunities of Mexican operators in Italy, we have several trade missions in mind. We want to host operators so that they can learn first-hand about the technological excellence we can offer and to demonstrate that our country is a safe destination that offers a great number of possibilities for the development of new businesses. In addition, we will take advantage of the opportunity to show the natural and architectural beauty of our cities and towns, places that will soon resume the rhythm and activity they had before the emergence of COVID-19.

Before concluding, let me also recall our activities in the dissemination of technologies and good practices in sectors such as civil protection. These are activities that allowed us, on two occasions in the last year, to consolidate the collaboration between Italian institutions and companies and Mexican institutions and companies in the sector. Such efforts have also helped to lay the groundwork for collaboration that will allow us to avoid or, where necessary, to cope jointly with any emergencies that may occur in the future.

In this regard, I would like to introduce, as examples, the work carried out in relation to the development of alternative energy as a mitigation strategy for the effects of climate change. In particular, I would highlight the cooperation activities on the sargasso emergency, where we have collaborated with the scientific office of our embassy to propose technological solutions for monitoring and solving this problem that has affected beach tourism in Mexico.

Finally, let me extend my gratitude to Mexico, the country in which I now have the pleasure of carrying out my professional activities, at a time that is undeniably challenging for the global economy. However, I am confident that there will be new opportunities for cooperation and friendship between our two nations. 

Photo by:   ITA