TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Italy and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held the first high level dialogue on economic relations in Jakarta on May 15 to 16. Organized by the European House – Ambrosetti and the Associazione Italia-ASEAN (Italy-ASEAN Association), the event was chaired by the former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
“We believe it is the right moment to move to ASEAN,” said Valerio Molli, the CEO of European House-Ambrosetti, citing that ASEAN member states combined are now the 6th largest economy in the world and will be 4th largest by 2050.
The event provided opportunities for Italian and ASEAN business players to discuss trade opportunities and future investments. Molli added experience sharing and mutual knowledge are the key to realize the full potential.
Enrico Letta, who is now the Chairman of Italy-ASEAN Association, said Italy has started to think about how to strengthen the relationship between Italy and ASEAN. The association wanted to hold the first dialogue by this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Southeast Asian bloc.
“The fact that Italy is here is for us to demonstrate we want to invest in ASEAN and Indonesia,” he said.
Despite the current political and religious tension in the country amidst a court verdict on Jakarta Governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Letta assured that Italian businessmen are still keen to explore trade opportunities in the country.
“We want to bet on Indonesia’s future. And by launching this event, we are giving a strong message of trust and confidence in free trade,” said Letta.