Abu Dhabi: Italy’s Ambassador to the UAE, Liborio Stellino, praised the UAE as a powerful moderate voice in the region, an important political ally in the fight against terrorism and a solid trade partner.
“The UAE and its enlightened leadership are strategic partners for Italy,” Stellino told Gulf News on Thursday as His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi discussed ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation, regional and international issues of common interest.
Stellino said the frequency of high-level bilateral political visits has recently increased significantly, and "meetings between our political leaders, and Shaikh Mohammad set the pace for stronger cooperation" on various fronts.
“Bilateral ties are reflected in the growth in trade,” the Italian Ambassador said.
He added the UAE is by far the most important market for Italian products in the MENA Region. “Moreover, more than 600 onshore and/or offshore Italian companies are operating in the ,” he said.
The Italian ambassador said there is no place comparable to the UAE in the entire Middle East.
“Many Italians and Italian firms are coming here to take advantage of the strong bonds between the two countries. Currently, there are 12,000 Italians in the UAE (the Italian community has more than doubled in the last four years), the largest Italian community in the Mena region and extending up to China. About 300,000 Italian tourists visited the UAE last, while Italy has emerged as one of the top 10 destinations in the world for UAE travelers.”
Stellino said the success of EXPO Milan 2015 has certainly contributed to the stable growth of tourism relations and has set the basis for a new field of cooperation in terms of exchange of “best practices” in preparation of EXPO Dubai 2020.
We are ready to stay together to “connect our minds” in order to create a best, inclusive and peaceful future for next generations.