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Italy to lure investments from UAE
BY WILLIAM FARIA November 10, 2016
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DUBAI: The Italian Trade Agency - ICE holds the fourth leg of the “Invest in Italy” 2016 roadshow in Dubai and launches the Dubai Foreign Direct Investments Desk.

The first Investment Attraction Desk in the UAE was launched on Monday in Dubai during the “Invest in Italy 2016” roadshow attended by Ivan Scalfarotto MP, Italian Secretary of State, International Trade & Investment Attraction and Liborio Stellino, Italian Ambassador to the UAE.

The launch was successfully attended by more than 100 investors, businessmen and corporate individuals who had the chance to listen to Italy’s future investment plans.

This represents a key step in the strategy that aims to increase direct investments in Italy. Direct investment stock from Italy in the UAE as per the end of 2014 exceeded $8.5 billion, whereas the total direct investment stock from the UAE in Italy amounted to $385 million (source: International Monetary Fund).

As of today there are 66 Emirati companies in Italy with 17,000 employees and 3.5 billion euro of turnover.

The main objective of the desk, which works closely with the Italian Embassy and other Italian institutions on UAE grounds, is to attract investment flows by promoting, supporting and encouraging capital investments, facilitating direct communication between foreign entities and their Italian counterparts. This requires a daily effort and a deep understanding of the underlying business framework.

Income per capita in the UAE is $67,000, one of the highest in the world, as stated in the estimate of the individual purchasing power. However; the UAE GDP is the second highest in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) with $670 billion in 2016 (of which Abu Dhabi and Dubai contribute 90 per cent) with growth expectations in 2016 and 2017. 50 per cent of the

GDP comes from oil revenues, the UAE being the 6th largest oil producer in the world with approximately 3 million barrels a day.

According to ICE-Reprint database information on multinational companies (updated for the first half of 2016), the number of Emirati companies in Italy amounts to 66, with 17,000 employees and a turnover of 3.5 billion euro.

The roadshow comes after those held in Istanbul, Tokyo in 2015 and New York, San Francisco and London in 2016.

Opening remarks by the Italian Ambassador were followed by a speech by the Secretary of State, who talked about the Italian political framework and the new reforms which, aim to attract foreign investments. This was followed by a presentation by the Director General of the Italian Trade Agency - ICE, Piergiorgio Borgogelli, who presented an overview of the economic environment and touched upon Italian Trade Agency - ICE’s initiatives to attract investments.

A particular attention was paid to the four sectors which had the highest record in terms of business performance and interest in the context of foreign investment, fashion, food & agriculture, real estate and start-up businesses with presentations made by representatives of Sistema Moda Italia’s, the trade association of the fashion industry, Nomisma an independent research and consulting company, the Italian Food Industry Federation (Federalimentare) and the business incubator “The Hive”. An additional focus was given to taxation issues, with a preview of some major law amendments which should further facilitate foreign direct investments expected to be enacted under the new Stability Law.

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