Italy’s Sereni highlights synergy between Jordan-Italy markets

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Marina Sereni. (Photo: Zoe Sottile/Jordan News)
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Marina Sereni. (Photo: Zoe Sottile/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Italian deputy foreign minister, Marina Sereni, visited Amman last week to discuss Jordan-Italy ties. In a written response, Sereni told Jordan News about the strengths and challenges facing the two countries.اضافة اعلان

“Our cooperation is indeed broad; a global partnership characterized by a common vision and shared interests, in particular with regard to development and trade,” said Sereni to Jordan News

The deputy foreign minister also addressed the strong economic relationship between the two countries. 

“Italian companies are well known all over the world for the quality of their products and services, for their reliability, and competitiveness that allows them to offer the customer maximum satisfaction and lasting relationships,” she said. 

“This is why our markets integrate very easily and this is why our companies find it so convenient to collaborate at all levels, supported by the Amman office of the Italian Trade Agency.”

She added: “It is very important to strengthen collaboration in matters such as regulations and customs procedures. We are working to identify ways to make trade more fluid and balanced, together with the integration of services and the formation of human capital. This will make it possible to further expand new opportunities for businesses and consumers.”

Sereni also addressed the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. “Since the beginning of the Syrian refugee emergency, Italy has been alongside Jordan to address the most urgent problems at all levels - health, food, housing, security, education — concerning the enormous effort that Jordan has commendably made with the support of the international community,” she wrote.

“The Syrian crisis seems unfortunately far from a solution,” the diplomat noted.

 According to Sereni, Italy pledged 45 million euro at last March’s Brussels Conference on supporting the Future of Syria and Neighboring Countries. The deputy foreign minister affirmed her support for future humanitarian aid in Jordan as well.

“Above all, it is necessary to offer opportunities for work, professional education, and schooling at the height of a humanitarian challenge that lasts over time,” she went on. “It is also essential to face the problems posed by limited environmental resources and to guarantee health and food security for all, both refugees and hosting communities. Italy has also activated humanitarian corridors to prevent the exploitation of human trafficking, granting to people in conditions of vulnerability a legal entry into Italian territory.”

In 2016, Jordan, in partnership with the international community, signed the Jordan Compact, a commitment to support Jordan in providing a regional and global public good by hosting refugees and providing support to Jordanian citizens, and the Jordanian economy. 

Sereni described the compact as “a fundamental framework to improve the living conditions of both Syrian refugees in Jordan and vulnerable host communities.”

She named a number of opportunities supported by Italy through the Jordan Compact. “We have allocated one million euros to strengthen the public health system through the Jordanian Health Fund for Refugees, and one more million euros to UN Women to enhance the protection and empowerment of women in vulnerable situations in the COVID-19 crisis. In November 2020, activities worth 2.5 million euro were entrusted to Italian CSOs to ensure adequate livelihoods for Syrian refugees and the most vulnerable Jordanian communities, also with the aim of alleviating the consequences of the pandemic.”

“The global challenges we are facing make it necessary to refocus on the framework defined by the Compact in order to proceed along reforms and modernization of the country, combining the values of stability and moderation with the development of society as a whole.”

According to the deputy foreign minister, the challenges facing Jordan “are broad and diverse.”

She wrote: “The environmental challenge is probably one of the most pressing, in light of the very strong demographic growth that has led Jordan to multiply its population many times within a few generations.”

Additionally, “The participation of women in the civil, economic and political life of the country is the main way to encourage a truly human and global growth of the whole society.”

Sereni also emphasized the importance of supporting youth in Jordan and the region. “The situation of the young generation needs also to be approached, with efforts to create employment opportunities and spaces for participation in social and public debate,” she said. “In my opinion, this is the greatest opportunity available to give a future of development and peace to Jordan and to the whole Middle East.

For Sereni, the pandemic has emphasized existing challenges around the world. “The COVID emergency has once again made it clear how interconnected and dependent we all are,” she said. “Our prosperity depends on yours, and vice versa.”

“People suffer from the erection or tightening of barriers, obstacles to the freedom of movement, exchanges and communication,” she added.

“Border communities experience all this with greater suffering and difficulty, and all this is even more evident in a region crossed by many borders and unresolved conflicts.”

“Our commitment is to encourage dialogue and reopen spaces of freedom,” Sereni said. “Only in this way will we be able to offer responses of peace and prosperity to our peoples.”

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