ROME – Côte d’Ivoire as a “country of the future”: this is the image suggested by the President Alassane Ouattarainvited to Rome from Confindustry for a day of debates, meetings and agreements between companies looking for economic opportunities but also ready to make a social commitment.
The word that comes back to the Auditorium della Tecnica is “co-development“. The idea is that of a model of doing business that places training and skills transfer at the forefront. A model that can and indeed must be re-proposed in times of uncertainty, with a year 2023 marked by the risks of global recession, as Ouattara again underlines, but where it is Africa itself that offers a reference.
The Ivorian Prime Minister, Patrick Jérôme Achi, also speaks of a continent to be rethought and better understood. His message is that we need to “revisit the immigration debate” and realize that “Africa is not a danger but an opportunity”.
(Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Jérôme Achi)
It would be this awareness to animate the memoranda of understanding and agreements ultimately signed, promoted by Confindustria Assafrica & Mediterraneo in collaboration with the Embassy of Côte d’Ivoire. The signatures relate to commercial collaborations and investments but also, with a role of Luiss Guido Carliuniversity cooperation for “executive” training for civil servants and executives.
PRIME MINISTER ACHI: IN 10 YEARS, GDP PER CAPITA HAS DOUBLE
“Eighty-five reforms” allowed Côte d’Ivoire to grow on average between 2012 and 2019 by 8% per year, succeed in doubling the GDP per capita in a decade and increasing the life expectancy of the population from 57 to 67 years: reported it Patrick Jerome AchiPrime Minister of the African country, during a meeting in Rome organized by Confindustria.
According to the head of government, “the Ivorian economy continued to grow even during the Covid-19 pandemic, by 2% in 2020 and above all by 7.4% in 2021”.
“OTHER THAN DANGER, AFRICA IS AN OPPORTUNITY”
We must “review the debate on immigration” and realize that “Africa is not a danger but an opportunity”, a “huge” market on which to concentrate: the Ivorian Prime Minister said so. Patrick Jerome Achiat a meeting in Rome organized by Confindustria.
“In a century”, said the head of government in reference to the continent, “we will have a population of two billion and 400 million inhabitants, while Europe and the United States will experience a reduction in their markets”. Then the reflection on the “debate on immigration” which often characterizes Europe and also Italy. Achi’s appeal needs to be reconsidered. “Africa is a huge market; you have to have a vision and imagine the world as it will be tomorrow to live it at best today”. According to the Prime Minister, “no one can prevent someone from moving where they want and already today we hear about drone-taxis which can each take four or five people anywhere in the world”. The invitation is for “a long-term vision, to promote decent living conditions for the populations, where each country finds its place in a ‘win-win’ perspective”. Achi addressed Italy and its community of entrepreneurs. “Your country”, he said, “has been a bridge of inspiration and wisdom”
BELTRAME (CONFINDUSTRIA): THE MODEL IS CO-DEVELOPED
The Ivorian development plan 2021-2025 is an “opportunity” for Italian companies, capable of proposing a model of “co-development” centered on the “training of skills and workers” on site: he said Barbara Beltramevice-president of Confindustria for internationalization.
The occasion was a meeting in Rome, in the Auditorium of Technology, dedicated to the African country.
According to the manager, “our factories also abroad are places of training, empowerment of women and professional and personal development”. Beltrame focused on the modalities of the presence of Italian companies in Côte d’Ivoire.
“They’ve been very successful in exporting this co-development model,” he said. “Now we need to foster synergies, taking into account that in 2021 bilateral trade increased by 9% thanks to both large groups and medium-sized companies”. Among the “strategic” collaboration sectors, in the light of the Ivorian development plan, Beltrame mentioned agro-industry, energy, construction, logistics, transport and infrastructure.
VIGNATI (ENI): FORWARD IN IVORY COAST WITH THE “DANCING WHALE”
“Satisfying the internal needs” of Côte d’Ivoire and at the same time “finalizing growing ambitions” on exports: this, according to Luca Vignati, upstream director of Eni, is the potential of the “Dancing whale” hydrocarbon deposit. discovered about a year ago off the coast of the African country.
“It was immediately obvious that it was something important”, recalls the director, guest of a meeting organized by Confindustria at the Auditorium della Tecnica. “The land is located approximately 4,000 meters deep, has an extension comparable to the metropolitan area of Milan and a thickness equivalent to an 11-storey building: if it were already in production today, it would represent more than 10% of Eni’s production”. Vignati underlined: “The domain will be able to satisfy the internal needs of the Ivory Coast and then finalize the growing ambitions for export”.
At the forefront of the intervention of the executive, “the reactive participation of the host country”, also through the collaboration between Eni and the public company Petroci. “Our development plan was approved in a few weeks,” Vignati pointed out. “Only 18 months after its discovery, there will be the development phase in 2023”.
AMICHIA (CEPICI): TAX CREDITS READY FOR SMES
Tax credits, in particular to encourage technology transfers in “strategic sectors” such asInformation and communication technologies (ICT), are one of Côte d’Ivoire’s recipes for attracting foreign investment.
Solange Amichia, Director General of Cepici, the Center for the Promotion of Investments in Côte d’Ivoire, spoke about it during a meeting organized by Confindustria at the Auditorium della Tecnica.
In his speech, the “incentive measures” contained in a national code, targeting both large groups and small and medium-sized enterprises, are in the foreground. “For SMEs, there are even more benefits,” Amichia said. “In the area of the economic capital Abidjan, the tax reduction through tax credits is 37%”. Strategic sectors are the subject of particular attention, such as ICT. “A state project”, specifies the director, “plans for subsidized investments of at least 150 million dollars over five years”.
PRESIDENT OUATTARA: ITALY IS INVESTING, COTE D’IVOIRE IS THE FUTURE
Côte d’Ivoire as a “country of the future”, capable of attracting investment thanks to an expected growth of 7% per year”despite the risks of a global recession for 2023 due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the grain crisis“: This is the perspective proposed by Alessane Ouattara, the president of the African country.
The occasion was a meeting in Rome, organized by Confindustria, at the Autorium della Tecnica. “For the period from 2023 to 2025 in Côte d’Ivoire, annual growth of at least 7% is expected,” Ouattara said. At the center of his speech an invitation to Italian entrepreneurs. “Come and invest”, the call of the president, “because Côte d’Ivoire can be the reference platform for investments in Africa”.
Ouattara, a past at the International Monetary Fund, Head of State since 2011, concluded with a reference to theEuropean Union. “Our country”, he said, “grew by 8% per year between 2012 and 2019, today it has a budget deficit which does not exceed 3% and therefore also meets the Maastricht criteria”.
DAL CHECCO (ASSAFRICA): A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ITALY
“Continue the relationship” with Africa, collaborate “by supply chain” and bet even more “on the beautiful and the well done” in a perspective of common growth: such is the attraction of Massimo Dal Checcopresident of Confindustria Assafrica & Mediterranean.
The occasion is a meeting organized by his organization, dedicated to relations with Côte d’Ivoire. “Most of Africa is growing nearly 7% for more than 20 years now”The premise of Dal Checco. While emphasizing how different the areas affected by the crisis remain, from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, the leader spoke of a “great opportunity to grow together” for both Italian companies and countries on the continent.
“This relationship needs to be pursued in a strong way, with the goal of collaborating very closely by supply chain,” continued Dal Checco. “We are highly valued for the type of businesses, large, medium and small, and today this supply chain of beautiful and well-made that we are able to export is proving competitive even with stronger countries present. in Africa like Turkey. and China”.
MEMORANDUMS OF UNDERSTANDING: FROM TRADE TO UNIVERSITY TRAINING
From commercial collaborations to investments to university cooperation for “executive” training of civil servants and managers: commitments at the center of memorandums of understanding signed by representatives of Italy and Côte d’Ivoire at the end of of a meeting organized by Confindustria.
At the center of the initiative, at the Auditorium della Tecnica, the opportunities offered by the National Development Plan 2021-2025 adopted by the African country.
The memoranda were signed after a plenary session. The first was signed between Confindustria, Confindustria Assafrica & Mediterraneo and Cepici, the Center for the Promotion of Investments in Côte d’Ivoire, with the aim of “promote the creation and strengthening of partnerships between Italian and Ivorian companies through the exchange of information, the organization of joint initiatives to support the collaboration and the presence of Italian companies in the African country “. A second agreement was signed with the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce Cci-Ci for “stimulate economic collaboration between Italian and Ivorian operators and create joint investment projects”.
Among the agreements, there is also one signed by the University Luiss Guido Carli and by the Ministry of Public Administration of Côte d’Ivoire. The commitment in this case is “provide executive training for government and private sector officials“From the country.
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