Italo-Russian Interregional Cooperation Forum.

April 27, 2016 in Milan, Lombardy Government headquarters (Palazzo Pirelli) the Italo-Russian Interregional Cooperation Forum was held. Organized at the initiative of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in Milan and the Lombardy region Administration, this Forum entered into a series of important events in 2016, declared the Year of interregional cooperation between Italy and Russia.

The conference discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in the fields of mechanical engineering and petrochemicals, in the area of food production and processing, healthcare, and environmental protection; as well as in the fields of culture, tourism and sport.

The positive exchange of views allowed to set a positive and energetic pace throughout the further discussion of economic issues at the panel session «Cooperation in the field of exhibition activities, innovation and energy performance». There also were especially affected threads of technological cooperation and the role of the "human capital" in interregional cooperation.

The fact that the meeting was timely and necessary, confirmed the positive attitude of all the participants, as well as an active pace of the conference, defined from the very beginning; no empty seats in the hall which seats 100 people. Successful event in the day helped all: even the sunny Milan weather.

At the plenary session the General Consul of Russian Federation in Milan, Alexander Nurizade , made a speech: he said, that "regional cooperation is a very useful tool, and if Russian sees the German, French and Italian goods with the same price, - without a doubt, he will buy the Italian ones. So we need to develop this love, and not let it die "

"From Russia," said Fabrizio Sala, vice president of the Lombardy region, "we receive clear signals of willingness for open cooperation with our region. It is also necessary to mention the cooperation agreement signed with the Novosibirsk region in January, and current negotiations with the Government of Bashkortostan . We for sure want to strengthen economic ties, which were established due to Expo experience. We have a clear strategy for internationalization  to intensify our small and medium-sized enterprises's work abroad, so that they will be able to solve the problem of international competitiveness. "

Italian Ambassador in Moscow, Cesare Maria Ragaglini, who was unable to attend the event, handed in his message, addressed to participants of the Forum that "At the moment Italy is a country-partner of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, which will be held in mid-June: it will help to represent our country at a high level, and more than that the status of partner at this event is further proof of the excellent relations between Russia and Italy " To support our participation in this event, the Italian pavilion will be presented at the forum, as an example of the only foreign country invited. Also a large Italian delegation headed by the Prime Minister of Italy  - M. Renzi will visit it».

Rustem Khamitov, Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, enthusiastically presented his region: "If you decide to invest in our region, we will create you all the necessary conditions: tax benefits, assistance in overcoming bureaucratic barriers, proper positioning of your products in the market." In turn, the capital of the region - Ufa (in the hall was attended by Mayor Irek Yalalov), is the best city in Russia to do business in accordance to Forbes, it is a modern city with a large university and research center. "We know how much you have lost because of the sanctions and counter-sanctions,"- he said; "If in 2014 the trade turnover between Bashkortostan and Italy amounted to 1.5 billion euros, in 2015 it dropped to 500 million!"

Riccardo Monti, president of ICE (the Italian Agency for the support and promotion of Italian companies in foreign economic sphere), spoke of a very positive investment climate in Russia: "Russian regions compete to attract investment, I have seen governors who provided contacts of entrepreneurs.

Krokhin Konstantin, President of the Italian Commission of MCCI and inspirer of the Program of the Italian-Russian interregional cooperation, gave greetings to the participants of the Forum from the Presidency of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce. In his speech K. Krokhin thanked the Government of the Lombardy region and the Consulate General of Russia in Milan for their assistance in the organization of such an important bilateral event, the Bashkortostan delegation for its visit and fruitful work and all the guests for their participation.

He also stressed the special role in bilateral cooperation such Italian institutional as  ICE, and thanked representatives of Italian business associations for the partnership (Assolombarda, Confindustria, Promos, GimUnimpreza, ССIR). Konstantin Krokhin pointed to a lot of attention on the part of the MCCI and the enormous amount of work to implement the principle of "Made with Italy" to the real economic cooperation between the two countries. He drew attention to the presence among participants representatives of the largest Italian banks, well-known manufacturers of the real economy area, and wished everyone a successful and fruitful work.

On The Forum an interesting and informative economic presentation was made by the Vice-Premier of the Republic of Bashkortostan - Dmitry Sharonov, he indicated major investment advantages of Bashkortostan, as well as showed to the participants the tax and infrastructure preferences, designed for Italian entrepreneurs.

General Director of Bergamo Airport Emilio Bellingardi, was very pleased to present, once again, the Russian airline low-cost carrier «Pobeda», which has  daily flights from Milan to Moscow. "From the very beginning, within the first 4 months, without advertising, we had more than 35,000 passengers, an average load was 75%." Mr. Bellingardi added that the Russian average bill in Italy is still very high, and "if we lose them, over the next years we will speak at conferences about the reasons why we lost Russia."

The Forum attracted the participation of Marco Tizzoni, a member of parliament of Lombardy (Vice-President of Planning and Budget Commission), as well as Luigi Scordamaglia, President of the Federalimentare Association; Massimo Manelli, General Deputy Director of the Association of Assolombarda in Milan, Monza and Brianza; Marinella Loddo, director of the ICE office in Milan; Leonora Barbiani, General Secretary of the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce; Albina Kildigulova, General Director of "Bashkir Exhibition Company"; Ico Migliore, president of world famous architectural firm "Migliore + Servetto Architects"; Vittorio Torrembini, vice president of the Association GIMUnimpresa. April Forum Moderation was made by Marco Fontana (Sputnik Italia) and the President of the Italian Commission MCCI Konstantin Krokhin.

According to the participants and experts, this event has become another example of the leading role of the Italian Commission of MCCI in the development of inter-regional business cooperation and confirmation of the ongoing fruitful work between the two countries, now is at the regional level.

In his concluding speech, Konstantin Krokhin noted that today there are all the necessary organizational capabilities and real economic tools for the implementation of modern investment and innovation projects. Now all we need is "small" work - everyday realization of the stated goals and objectives.


Media about event:

The publication of the edition of the Forum in Russia News (Italia)

TV programs about the Forum on RBC-TV channel

A report on the Forum Interview with Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan R.Z. Khamitov told Radio 24 (Group Il Sole 24 Ore)

Publication of the Forum in the publication "Sputnik Italia".

Publication of the Forum on the website of the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation in Ancona

Publication of the participation in the Forum of the Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan R.Z. Khamitov on the information portal of the Administration of the Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan

The publication on the Forum portal Italia Network news

Publication of the Forum on the FB page of the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce

Publication of the Forum on the official portal of the Government of the RegionLombardy

"Interview with the Consul General of Russia in Milan A.B. Nurizade about Italian-Russian cooperation, the Forum, and interregional cooperation"

Lombardy Parliament will vote in favor of the lifting of sanctions in early June.