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Economic Diplomacy

The Italian Embassy’s Economic and Trade Department coordinates the economic promotion of Italy in the UK. Its purpose is to promote Italy’s economic interests in the UK and to support trade and investment between the two markets.

The department promotes the interests of Italian companies, assisting them in their dealings with British public authorities, particularly with respect to tenders, public procurement, access to the British market and investment protection. The department also maintains dialogue with British public bodies dealing with economic and trade policy and provides regular updates on the economic developments, the government’s economic policies and market conditions in the UK.

Since the referendum of 23 June 2016, following which the UK announced it would be withdrawing from the European Union (a decision that took effect on 1 February 2021), the Economic and Trade Department has been monitoring the resulting economic developments and evolution of bilateral trade relations.

The department maintains regular contact with the London financial industry and the head of the department is also the deputy executive director for Italy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The department works closely with the embassy’s science attaché, co-organising joint activities to promote science and technology and fostering links between universities, researchers and industry.

In running these initiatives, the Economic and Trade Department and the science attaché collaborate with other Italian bodies operating in the UK. The Economic Department collaborates with the Embassy’s Food and Agriculture Attaché, carrying out activities aimed at promoting exports and protecting agri-food products, monitoring local legislation, supporting actions to link institutions, stakeholders and universities on issues relating to agricultural policy, food security, food quality and agriculture sustainability. Regular meetings are held, chaired by the Italian ambassador, some of them attended by all the Italian government agencies operating in the UK and others attended only by the following agencies, which focus on trade, economic and financial matters:

• The London office of ICE, the Italian Trade Agency, which promotes Italian companies around the world and acts as the embassy’s trade promotion section. The services it offers include information and advice for investors and businesses seeking to develop their presence on the UK market, assistance procuring funding, advice on contracts, help setting up branches in the UK and recruiting local staff, investigations into potential venture partners, mediation, dispute resolution and customised marketing plans. The Italian Trade Agency also has a Brexit desk, a desk dedicated to attraction of foreign direct investment, and an innovation desk.

• The London representative office of Banca d’Italia, which functions as the embassy’s financial department, analyses economic and financial trends in the UK and maintains relations with local banks, financial institutions and authorities responsible for monetary policy and banking regulation. It also monitors developments in the regulatory and financial fields following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

• The London office of the National Tourist Board (ENIT) is the main body tasked with the promotion of Italy’s image as a destination for tourism and promoting the sale of Italian tourism-related services in the UK.

The London office of ENIT, the National Tourist Board, which promotes Italy as a tourist destination and the sale of Italian tourism-related services in the UK.

• The Italian cultural institutes in London and Edinburgh 

• The Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UK which promotes Italian companies and cultivates trade and investment links between Italy and the UK.