- Italy's Minister of Enterprises, Adolfo Urso, unveils a new fund dedicated to strengthening strategic national supply chains, focusing on raw materials and energy sectors.
- The move signifies a growing trend in Europe to lessen dependency on countries like China, aiming to bring global supply chains closer to home.
- The new fund showcases Italy's commitment to enhancing its industrial policy, emphasizing the country's economic recovery and resilience in 2023.
Italy has embarked on a significant mission to invigorate critical segments of its economy, joining the ranks of various European countries striving to localize global supply chains.
On Wednesday, Adolfo Urso, Italy's Minister of Enterprises, unveiled a public-private fund dedicated to strengthening "national strategic supply chains," particularly in raw materials and energy sectors. A diplomatic insider confirmed that the fund will exclusively support firms that exhibit high potential or systematic relevance. The fund is predicted to receive parliamentary approval before year's end.
This news arrives on the heels of Ireland's recent proclamation to launch a sovereign wealth fund next year, funded by unexpected tax receipts and focusing on long-term expenses such as pensions and infrastructure. France, Europe's second-largest economy, also recently proposed an investment fund for critical metals. These plans signify a growing European trend to lessen dependency on countries like China.
Federico Santi, a senior analyst at Eurasia Group, interprets these actions as a response to escalating international competition for crucial resources and supply chains. "The pandemic and subsequent energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine have exposed the vulnerability of supply chains to political and geopolitical shifts," he remarked.
Italy, which established a wealth fund in 2011 that invested in energy, communications, and aerospace sectors, demonstrates a renewed commitment to enhancing its industrial policy with this new fund. This urgency was fueled by the scarcity of protective equipment, such as masks, during the COVID-19 outbreak and the escalating costs of many products due to disrupted supply chains. The Ukrainian war further disrupted other sectors, particularly agricultural goods and fertilizers.
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