Thank you, Mr. Under-Secretary-General.
Let me start by saying that I’m very pleased to co-organize today’s event. Italy attaches great importance to the issues we are discussing today. Industrialization, innovation and trade are indeed crucial for both developing and developed countries alike, as we seek to achieve prosperity and sustainable development.
In the last years we have been witnessing some indicative economic trends:
1) a constantly growing participation of developing countries in the global economy;
2) an increased globalization of economic crises. As has been proven by the successful examples of some countries, strategies to foster growth and employment have a fundamental role to exit this long period of economic crisis and must be priorities of our national and global policies.
As we are about to enshrine the importance of economic development issues in the Post-2015 development agenda, we have learned one lesson: the quality and structure of economic growth matters. We don’t just need any kind of economic growth, but growth that is sustained, inclusive and sustainable. Economic diversification through industrialization and innovation is one of the best ways to shield against future crisis and to increase resilience. This applies to developing countries on a path of structural transformation for the first time, but it is also true for developed countries that are currently refocusing on their industrial sectors in a process of “reindustrialization”.
Italy is looking back at a long history of industrial development led by small- and medium-sized entreprises. Our model can also provide relevant insights for other countries and we are pleased to share our experience in this regard. But we must not rest on past achievements. My country has, therefore, among other things, recently adopted a new labour law that will boost employment in all sectors and consequently give way to a general increase in production and productivity.
Let me also say that we must not forget that industrialization and reindustrialization efforts can only succeed in a positive trading environment. International trade policies must therefore complement growth strategies adopted at the national levels, especially fiscal, innovation and industrial policies. As these issues are heavily interdependent, policy coherence is key – both at the national and international levels. The fight against protectionism is crucial to ensure openness of markets, so that essential conditions for expanding trade and boosting industrialization opportunities and economic growth are in place. As a success story of economic integration, let me just briefly mention the European Union: thanks to the openness and integration of its trade regime, the Union is now the largest economy in the world.
Italy is committed to strengthening the rules-based multilateral trading system, including by contributing to a full and swift implementation of the WTO Bali package. We remain equally committed to promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development in all countries.
Let me stop here and hand back to the moderator. I look forward to our panel discussion which provides an excellent opportunity to deepen our mutual understanding of the synergies between industrialization, innovation and trade and to enrich this debate with a diverse set of perspectives.
I thank you, Mr. Under-Secretary-General.