Exploring More Italian Investments
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) alongside The European House – Ambrosetti, in collaboration with the Italy – ASEAN Association and the Italian Trade Agency organised the 6th edition of the High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations 2022 in Kuala Lumpur on 6 July 2022. The event was also endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Confindustria (General Confederation of Italian Industry).
The one-day high-level event kicked off with the Opening Ceremony followed by a Press Conference, and a series of pertinent discourses with government officials and captains of the industry from both Italy and ASEAN member countries. The event concluded with a Gala Dinner. Participation in the High-Level Dialogue was based on invitation only. It was also confined to C-suite representatives of companies and institutional leaders.
The ‘High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations’ is an annual programme organised by The European House – Ambrosetti from Italy. The programme was designed to create an exclusive dialogue and networking platform to positively influence the economic and strategic relations between ASEAN countries and Italy. This will pave the way for leaders of these countries to reap mutual benefits by learning about the opportunities of the two regions, interacting on a concerted basis as well as building profitable political and economic partnerships with the aim of promoting new investments and enhancing trade relationships.
The first five (5) editions of the High-Level Dialogue were held in key markets namely, Jakarta (2017), Singapore (2018), and Hanoi (2019). The digital editions were held in 2020 and 2021. The 6th edition was organised in a hybrid physical-digital fashion that witnessed more than 200 participants and speakers convene physically.
This year the most cutting-edge topics had been addressed, namely:
In his Keynote Address during the Opening Ceremony, YB. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) highlighted, “ASEAN member states and Italy have long-standing economic relations. Today’s event provides a strategic platform for businesses, thought leaders, and policymakers to share their expertise and insights on ways to establish a closer working relationship. This effort has certainly borne fruit in forging closer people-to-people ties between ASEAN and Italy.
At the moment, Italy is Malaysia’s third largest global trading partner among the EU Member States. Italian investments are generally perceived in Malaysia to signify quality investments that create quality jobs for locals. Malaysia is proud to be home to a number of Italian investments. During the panel session, Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Deputy CEO (Investment and Facilitation) of MIDA said “Malaysia is located in the hearts of Southeast Asia and the gateway to ASEAN and beyond. The country is always seeking to expand its trade and diversify its economic base, as well as to find new business partners globally.”
As of December 2021, a total of 75 manufacturing projects with Italian participation (valued at USD363.8 million) were implemented across the country. This has created 4,320 job opportunities for locals here at home.”
The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, also remarked, “Strengthening the partnership with ASEAN countries is a priority for Italy. The Indo-Pacific region, and its large and fast-growing economies, offer unique economic opportunities and provide a successful example of regional integration. I am very pleased that the High-Level Dialogue can be held again, this time physically, in Malaysia, a country bound to Italy by a strong friendship and sound economic relations.”
Among the other dignitaries present at the one-day event were:
During the Gala Dinner, Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy highlighted MIDA’s hospitality and welcomed all participants that were instrumental to the success of the High-Level Dialogue, adding, “ASEAN and Italy have enjoyed considerable trade and investment relations, and Italy has been a long-standing friend and reliable partner to Malaysia throughout the years. While we are on the right track to recovering from the pandemic, the dialogue helped us address a majority of rising economic and diplomacy challenges under focus and discover new opportunities, measures, and ideas to grow together. Malaysia and ASEAN are committed to creating a competitive and attractive business environment for foreign investors.”
Datuk Bahria Mohd Tamil, Deputy Secretary General (Investment) Ministry of International Trade And Industry (MITI) delivered her Keynote Address, reiterating the importance of platforms such as the High-Level Dialogue. “The gathering of policymakers and industry opinion leaders is always the best way to close the gap between expectations and realities. The combined efforts of both the public and private sectors fast-track the achievement of common objectives. In this case, the objective is trade expansion and its related elements. This edition of the dialogue has given us much to deliberate and act upon. We hope it has been the same for our ASEAN counterparts and our guests from Italy. We look forward to taking this discussion further. Tonight’s event is the beginning of realising our full potential as partners for the future. I hope that the coming years will see an expansion of the strong and strategic relations between the region and Italy.”
Under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations 2022 edition has been made possible thanks to the contribution of MIDA and ITA along with leading private partners Leonardo (Main Partner), Saipem (Partner), MPI Generali (Junior Partner), and Turkish Airlines (Official Carrier). In addition, the valuable support of the Italy Malaysia Business Association, Mahanakorn Partners Group, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, and Singapore Manufacturing Federation has been instrumental to the success of the high-level event.