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Maritime economy: a new centrality of the Mediterranean and the pivotal role of Italy. The case of short sea shipping

Date:

03/08/2019


Maritime economy: a new centrality of the Mediterranean and the pivotal role of Italy. The case of short sea shipping

The Embassy of Italy hosted the conference “Maritime economy: a new centrality of the Mediterranean and the pivotal role of Italy. The case of short sea shipping” on 7 March 2019, organised in partnership with Intergroup.

In his opening address the ambassador, Raffaele Trombetta, pointed out that although the Mediterranean region takes up only 1% of the Earth’s surface, it is an area of great global importance, being located at the junction of three continents and playing a key role in global security, stability and wellbeing. The region is currently experiencing renewed vigour, thanks to its market of 500 million consumers, its role as a crucial hub for international maritime transport, its energy resources and the growth of the blue economy, and Italy is at the heart of the developments and the associated economic opportunities that this entails.

These concepts were echoed by Riccardo Sciolti, the general manager of Intergroup, who explained that Italy is a Mediterranean leader in short-sea shipping, an industry of major importance for Europe. Massimo Deandreis, the general manager of Intesa Sanpaolo’s research centre, SRM, presented data and trends highlighting the enormous potential created by the Mediterranean’s location at the centre of the highest concentration of GDP in the world. He noted that the expansion of the Suez canal has made the region even more competitive, particularly in the field of maritime transport between Asia and the American East Coast.

These presentations were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Professor Robert Leonardi, a visiting professor at the School of Government at LUISS University in Rome. The panellists were Zeno D’Agostino, vice president of the European Sea Ports Organisation and president of the port of Trieste; Pietro Di Sarno, vice president of YoungShip Italy; and Alessandro Onorato, executive vice president of the Moby group. The discussion and the Q&A that followed illustrated the importance to the Italian economy of the maritime industry, notably the network of ports and their associated infrastructure and connections, all areas in which Italy and the Mediterranean in general are becoming increasingly competitive.


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