Giorgia Meloni in Downing street, for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The Prime Minister will be in London from today, for a ‘two days’ which aims to crown the excellent state of the bilateral relationship between the two countries and relaunch an all-round strategic dialogue with a key partner and ally. It is no coincidence that this is the first two-day visit to a European country by Prime Minister Meloni, a sign of the importance, it is noted at Palazzo Chigi, which the Italian government attributes to relations with the United Kingdom.
In Downing street it is a return of Italy to the City: Mario Draghi, during his mandate, did not go on missions to London – thanks to his travels ‘weakened’ by the advance of the pandemic -, therefore the last Italian prime minister in the British capital was Giuseppe Conte, and this well before Covid upset the planetary balance.
Meeting Between Meloni And The Prime Minister of The United Kingdom
Today’s bilateral meeting between Meloni and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, both young ‘rookies’ at the G20 in Bali, is the second meeting after the talk on the sidelines of the COP27 in Egypt (November 2022, ed) a few weeks after the inauguration of the respective governments. The meeting represented an opportunity to get to know each other and start laying the foundations for continuing the work that sees Italy and the United Kingdom – both G7 countries and founders of NATO – close on many issues and in particular on defense and support to Ukraine.
An important contribution to bilateral relations is also ensured by the large community of Italian citizens residing across the Channel: certainly not intimidated by the onset of Brexit, more than 500,000 compatriots are registered in Aire, the ad hoc British register. Most of them are professionals, economic-financial operators, experts and highly specialized officials, as well as exponents of the academic, cultural and scientific world attracted by the vivacity of the British economic, cultural and social landscape.
And even after Brexit, Italy’s economic collaboration with the UK has remained solid and diversified, with strong industrial complementarities and ample growth prospects: 35.6 billion in trade in 2022 (+13% on 2021 and in line with pre- -covid), with a positive balance of 19 billion euros. On the other hand, the United Kingdom is an important investor in Italy: it has assets of foreign direct investments (FDI) for 26 billion euros concentrated in the financial, insurance and energy sectors. The Italian entrepreneurial presence is also deeply rooted, with direct investments of 31.8 billion, above all in the fields of defense (Leonardo), energy and renewables (Eni, Enel) and infrastructure and transport.
For Italy – which in London is preparing to sign an important package of bilateral agreements, report sources involved in the dossier – there is room for a further intensification of exchanges, especially in the most innovative sectors such as the ‘green’ economy, advanced technologies, life sciences, start-ups and digital innovation. With a keen eye on the defense sector, at the heart of the industrial collaboration between Italy and the UK. Rome is in fact fully engaged in the development of the GCAP/Tempest programme, a trilateral initiative which also involves Japan, of strategic value, for the design of the sixth generation multi-role fighter.
Meloni’s ‘mission’ therefore aims to strengthen the axis between two NATO countries close to the USA, and to keep relations alive with a conservative leader with whom we have been in full harmony since the beginning: from a firm hand on migrants to support, unconditionally, to Ukraine against Russian aggression. And precisely Kiev – today the protagonist of the Conference for the reconstruction wanted by Meloni in Rome, an initiative that will be ‘repeated’ in London on 21 and 22 June – will be among the hot topics at the center of the premier’s visit to the City tomorrow and Friday.
This article is originally published on notizienazionali.it