January 25, 2023
(As prepared for delivery)
Good evening. Thank you, Dario and Pasquale for inviting me to join today’s event. Ambassador Zappia – thank you for your leadership in support of our long-standing alliance and partnership.
I am always pleased to participate in initiatives to broaden the United States’ strong bilateral relationship with Italy. The business matching platform launched today by CDP has the potential to increase bilateral trade and investment between our countries. It is one tool that U.S. and Italian companies can use to develop partnerships to increase prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.
As the world’s largest economy, the United States is already Italy’s third largest export market, and with the connections facilitated by this platform, the opportunities to sell to, and buy from, the United States will increase.
This commercial relationship continues to grow. In 2021, the two-way trade in goods and services reached $95 billion. For 2022, we are expecting this trade to exceed $100 billion. Similarly, foreign direct investment, is at an historic high. In 2021, U.S. companies invested more than $28 billion in Italy, while Italian investment in the United States was $41 billion. These connections create jobs in both countries. Every morning, nearly 100,000 Americans go to work at Italian-owned companies. Over 200,000 Italians go to work at U.S.-owned companies.
New opportunities are available for companies in both countries. The Biden Administration has committed to major investments in critical sectors that will create jobs and increase prosperity. Italy has ambitious plans to use $200 billion in EU funding through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, or PNRR, to modernize and advance its economy.
The United States is committed to working with Italy, and with the new Italian government, on key strategic areas to ensure the long-term resilience of both our economies. These include energy security, cybersecurity, supply-chain resilience, climate change, and more sustainable infrastructure.
The business matchmaking platform being launched for the U.S. market today can help the private sector take advantage of these opportunities. U.S. companies are recognized the world over for their technological and innovative approaches. They are great partners for Italian companies and many are also looking to invest in Italy. In addition, Italy’s commitment to reforms, more diligent screening of investors through the “Golden Powers” mechanism, investment in critical infrastructure, and steps to end energy dependence on Russia are making the Italian economy more competitive, resilient, and sustainable.
Our leaders, both in the Biden and Meloni governments, agree that stronger transatlantic cooperation will make our economies more resilient and less dependent on countries that fail to meet international norms or standards.
Thank you to CDP for launching the business matching platform. Every step that connects U.S. and Italian companies enhances our overall relationship and provides a safer, more prosperous future for both Italy and the United States. Grazie a tutti.