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Italy PM calls for deeper ties, balanced trade with Mediterranean countries

He discussed improving access to food, which has been curbed during the Russia-Ukraine conflict and which threatened "the stability in Africa and the Middle East"

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Mario Draghi | Mediterranean | bilateral ties

IANS  |  Rome 

Mario Draghi, Italy premier
Mario Draghi, Italy's Premier | Photo: Shutterstock

Italian Prime Minister has said that he wants to deepen ties with countries and help balance trade between the 22 countries that border the Sea.

Speaking at the "Verso Sub" (Toward the South) gathering of the Ambrosetti Forum in Sorrento, part of the southern Italian metropolis of Naples, most of Draghi's remarks were aimed at ways to help the development of the less economically developed southern regions of .

But the prime minister also discussed the need to strengthen ties in the region. Draghi said would spend around 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) to modernise shipping ports in southern parts of to promote more trans-Mediterranean trade.

He discussed improving access to food, which has been curbed during the Russia-Ukraine conflict and which threatened "the stability in Africa and the Middle East."

He also focused on in the wake of Italy penning new supply deals with Algeria and Egypt as the country sought to wean itself off of Russian gas supplies.

"We need to strengthen cooperation among Mediterranean countries," Draghi said. "We want to be part of the energy transition in the whole region."

"We must also accelerate the development of renewable energy to improve the sustainability of our production model," he added.

Draghi said that around 90 per cent of trade in the Mediterranean was between members of the European Union, while just 9 per cent is between European countries and those on the southern shore of the Mediterranean and only one percent between the countries on the southern shore of the sea. He said investments in the region would help those figures to become less lopsided.

--IANS

int/shs

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, May 14 2022. 09:03 IST
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