Newsletter - Ministero degli Affari Esteri

Ministero degli Affari Esteri
e della Cooperazione Internazionale
Diplomazia Economica Italiana
Anno X
14 October 2014
Asia and Europe meet in Milan
to focus on Business
Asia and Europe meet in Milan
to focus on Business ................................ p 1
Diplomacy and business
for the future of two continents .............. p 2
Task Force Trade and Investiment
Multilateral agreements
must be defended.................................. p 4
Joerg Wuttke: China’s new role ............ p 5
Task Force Infrastructure
and Connectivity
Attracting more private capitals
is key ..................................................... p 8
Stefano Poli: the challenge
of the ASEAN Economic Community ....... p 9
Masterplan on Asean Connectivity .........p 12
Task Force Energy
A strategic role for Central Asia...........p 13
Reserves, production
and consumption..................................p 14
Task Force Food and Water Security
The winning approach: technology
and integrated projects.........................p 18
Giuliano Pisapia: Milan’s commitment to a
sustainable planet..................................p 19
Diana Bracco: an international event
open to businesses................................p 21
Main business federations
of Asia-Pacific
ASEM partner countries ................... p 23
Main European
businesses federations ...................... p 25
he Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) organised by Confindustria and BusinessEurope, representative of the main European business federations, brings
together in Milan 300 of the ASEM countries’ business leaders. It promotes
the articulate exchange of views on the main challenges to economic and financial
cooperation and provides a platform for communicating the demands of the private
sector to the European and Asian political leaders participating in the ASEM summit. The overall theme of this year’s Forum is the promotion of business relations
between Europe and Asia, particularly with reference to four priority topics: trade
and investment, food security, energy and green technologies, infrastructures. Four
task forces composed of European and Asian entrepreneurs addressed these topics
and will present their reports with specific recommendations at the Forum. These will
be included in the Final Declaration conveyed to political leaders on occasion of the
Forum’s concluding session.
Diplomacy and business
for the future of two continents
t is with great pleasure that I introduce this special issue of the
newsletter of Italian Economic
Diplomacy dedicated to the fourteenth edition of the AEBF - AsiaEurope Business Forum. The event
is organised back-to-back with the
tenth ASEM summit, the main event
of the Italian EU Council Presidency
and only a few months before the
opening of Expo 2015.
Andrea Meloni
As you all know, the chosen theme
for this year is “Enhancing business
relations to foster economic integration between Europe and Asia”,
with a focus on four sectors of absolute priority for both European
and Asian countries: trade and investment, food security, energy and
green technology, infrastructures.
Four task forces composed of European and Asian entrepreneurs will
be in charge of producing a report
for each of these areas and provide
specific recommendations. These
will be appended to the Final De-
claration and presented to European and Asian political leaders in the
concluding sessions of the Forum.
This exchange with the political
summit is the distinguishing feature
of the event, a forum where highlevel Asian and European business
representatives meet and debate
and have the opportunity to present
their proposals to the leading political authorities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked alongside Confindustria and
BusinessEurope on the organisation
of the Business Forum, facilitating
exchanges with the institutional
parties involved and contributing
through its diplomatic-consular network to identifying the business leaders to participate in the summit.
This special issue of Italian Economic Diplomacy, featuring important
information and interviews with
sector experts, provides additional
support to AEBF organisers and participants contributing to the debate
on the four topics focus of the Forum.
I wish all Forum participants and regular readers of this newsletter all
the best in their work, with a view
to further strengthening the already close ties between the business
communities of Europe and Asia.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Andrea Meloni
Director General
for the Country Promotion
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Cooperation
ASEM Summit in Milan (16-17 October 2014)
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a forum bringing
together EU member states and the European
countries of Switzerland, Norway, and Russia, with
the thirteen members of the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific
countries of China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Australia and Mongolia. The Organisation’s objective
is to promote cooperation and dialogue between
Asia and Europe on economic, political and cultural
issues. ASEM’s distinctive aspect is to be found in the
deliberately “informal” characteristics of its Ministrylevel meetings on themes related to foreign policy,
economics, culture, the environment. This allows
participating Institutions greater freedom of debate.
Every two years, ASEM organises a Summit with the
member countries’ Heads of State, alternatively in
Europe and Asia. This year’s meeting takes place in
Milan on 16 and 17 October.
Asia-Pacific ASEM member states
and organisations
Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China,
India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, ASEAN
(Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
European ASEM member states and organisations
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom,
European Union.
Countries pending membership
Croatia, Kazakhstan.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
1 - Task Force Trade and Investiment
Multilateral agreements must be defended
he session on Trade and Investment identified two main
lines of discussion:
- the fight against the different forms
of non-tariff barriers that still exist in
several countries;
- ways of avoiding that a growing
number of bilateral or regional free
trade agreements be detrimental to
the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s
multilateral system of rules and related dispute settlement system.
Several countries all over the world
have reintroduced protectionist measures in response to the recent financial crisis. The emergence of new economic powers such as China, further,
has not always been accompanied by a
corresponding commitment to the defence and development of the multilateral system. Lastly, lack of progress in
the Doha Round negotiations gave an
impetus to the finalisation of bilateral
and plurilateral trade agreements. Prominent examples of this are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States
and Europe, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between various American
and Asian countries, and the plurilateral TiSA agreement (Trade in Services Agreement). Such initiatives can
have a positive impact as intermediate
steps in the development of a stronger multilateral system. But they also
risk going in the opposite direction, towards the geographical fragmentation
of trade and investment flows and of
global supply chains in general. In this
context, alongside the general support
of WTO action and a commitment to
overcoming the different forms of protectionism, the ASEM group on Trade
and Investment proposes the following
specific recommendations:
- the effective implementation of the
Trade Facilitation Agreement as established on occasion of the WTO Ministerial
Conference in Bali in December 2013;
- the conclusion of the Doha Round
with ambitious objectives;
- the definition of a WTO work programme that includes new generation
topics such as investment, competition, export restrictions, subsidies,
energy, raw materials;
- the encouragement of all ASEM
countries to join the WTO GPA (Government Procurement Agreement)
and take on related commitments
pointing to ambitious objectives;
- the strengthening of cooperation
with international organisations other
than the WTO such as the International Monetary Fund, Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe,
World Bank, International Labour Organisation;
- a commitment on the part of ASEM
countries to further liberalising their
respective economies according to
their competitiveness levels and economic weight;
- a commitment to guaranteeing
coherence between bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements;
- the adoption of global standards to
avoid regulatory divergences;
- the efficient protection of intellectual property rights;
- the facilitation of technological
exchange carried out voluntarily, without favouring local investment or a
restricted selection of partners;
- the strengthening of communication between the private sector, governments and multilateral institutions
with a view to enhancing trade and
investment and guaranteeing transparency and the rule of law to prevent
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Joerg Wuttke: China’s new role
ver the past few years, China
has come to play a central
role in global trade. Its approach however has at times met
with the disagreement of other
European and Asian countries. The
European Chamber of Commerce
in China (EUCC) plays an important
advocacy role for the interests and
views of European businesses in the
country. We interview its President
Joerg Wuttke.
Is China’s ascent over the past 14
years an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of world
The starting point was China’s entry
in the WTO in 2001, an event that
had great significance at the global
level. It is worth remembering that
at the time, the Central Government
faced great resistance and had to
convince its country that the Chinese
economy would greatly benefit from
this without risking to be “overpowered” by Western countries. The
following events prove it was a winning choice: today China controls
15% of world exports. Before 2001,
this statistic was below 3%.
Central Government and the Party
leadership are extremely powerful
and they can impose severe dispositions. But then, in such a big and
diversified country, a lot depends
on the effective application of these
rules. Local “protectionism” intervenes at this level, often resting on
informal power relations - similarly
to what happens in other countries.
Is this change an accomplished
That is not entirely correct. I personally think the Beijing Government
should enter a new phase, repeating this passage inside the country.
Today we can not speak of China
as of a really integrated market. Individual Province administrations,
with dimensions similar to European states, often use different instruments to protect their markets
and their businesses and so-called
“local champions”. To be sure, the
China does not just have “local champions”. Are “national
champions” also granted special
Things get more complicated here.
There are certain strategic sectors
such as the defence or energy industries in which the protection of national rights is understandable. But
in other sectors this can not be justified. Many big state-owned companies in sectors such as banking,
telecommunications, the metallurgical and petrochemical industries
and others, have acquired a strong
awareness of their weight and try
to use this to further their interests.
This creates obstacles to both local
private companies and foreign competitors who would in fact add efficiency to the system.
Was there not mention in the
latest Party plenum of the market’s “decisive” role in “normalising” the Chinese economy?
Yes and this was a point we highlighted also in the recent issue
of the yearly European Chamber
Position Paper. It remains to be assessed whether this attitude is effectively free from “preconditions”
or whether on the other hand the
market is here intended as a sports
match in which the referee openly
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
How to respond?
We try to adopt a concrete approach. We need rules to establish economic and business relations based
on mutual advantage. Let us not
forget that China and Chinese companies are also looking outwards.
They aim to directly enter new markets. To acquire companies, market
shares, and technologies. And they
frequently meet with resistance. In
this sense, the promotion of a “level playing field” valid for everyone is in China’s interest too. There
are sectors that share this approach, both within the Chinese Government, particularly the Ministry
of Trade, and in the new Chinese
managerial class. We can rely on
these sectors to persuade China of
the importance of respecting the
rules and the principle of “neutrality” of intervention also at home. A
work of this kind requires presence,
information, dialogue. And an action that the European Chamber of
Commerce in China is determined
to see through to completion.
plays for the home team. The Party’s considerations certainly help to
overcome the internal protectionisms I mentioned above that hinder
the country’s competitiveness. I am
not sure they would be as effective
in terms of foreign competitors as
they are for private Chinese companies however, because in this case,
competition is thought of as a stimulus, not as a principle to be protected as such.
It would seem that Chinese political culture is little inclined to
protecting regulatory “principles”, particularly in economics.
The recent financial crisis destroyed
the conviction of the greater effectiveness of the Western model, especially
when compared with the unquestionable success of the Chinese model.
This is a change we have to take into
consideration when we highlight the
presence of numerous obstacles to
competition even though we know
they are ultimately detrimental to the
quality of Chinese growth itself.
There is widespread diffidence
in Europe as to China’s approach
to many foreign markets, where it comes with “all-inclusive
packages” including finance, trade, investment, and a patent disregard for ethical and political
There are different sides to this process. A first aspect is undoubtedly
positive: many countries have a new
interlocutor and a new “client” on
which they can rely on for supporting their development. As to other
aspects of its approach, it’s open
confrontation. These countries have
a public opinion. If Europe thinks its
model is more careful to the values
of democracy, sustainability, and
consensus building in the medium
to long term, then it will likely come
out on top. But it must believe in
itself and act accordingly.
China is aiming to increase its influence on multilateral organisations such as the WTO and IMF but
at the same time is multiplying its
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
bilateral free trade and payment
regulation agreements with individual countries or areas.
The problem of a “twin track” is
not exclusive to China, and is one
of the topics that will be discussed
at the Milan Convention. But China
is not always on the winning side.
For example, the great Trans-Pacific
Partnership currently under discussion explicitly excludes China. These
signs should convince everyone of
the importance of shared principles
in the common interest. China currently seems uninterested in participating in many international initiatives, such as OECD, that have real
significance. This does not mean it
will always be like that.
tical pressure on countries that
are not aligned with Beijing’s
I would not give these episodes too
much importance. They are limited
to a few cases. China is perfectly
aware of its economic and commercial weight. So of course it tries to
use this to obtain the most favourable conditions, just as anyone else
would. It looks at quality, price and
convenience. This is what we must
insist upon: there are sectors such as
health and hospital activities as well
as banks and services in general in
which European companies have a
lot to give. But the country’s diverse
administrative divisions, most of all
the individual Provinces, still have an
attitude of closure.
A controversial issue is the use
of “big deals” and trade relations as a way of applying poli-
There was a recent case of foreign car manufacturers being
fined millions of dollars for violation of competition rules. Is
this a warning signal to discourage foreign producers such as
Volkswagen or General Motors
who currently dominate the Chinese market?
This is a case of what you Italians
call “dietrologia”. There is the impression that these measures are
directed only to foreign companies.
As a response, the European Chamber calls for greater transparency in
these decisions. What are the facts
and considerations they are based
on? The role of the authorities is
not to issue fines that force companies to lower their prices, but rather
through their judgements to set the
standards of behaviour which further healthy competition. Competition alone will then impose price
China has the biggest car market in the world. This was confirmed in 2013: last year, the Asian country
resumed its double-digit growth, bringing the numbers of vehicles sold on the Chinese market back to record
levels. According to data from the Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), in 2013 13.87% more
vehicles were sold in China than in 2012. The total amount was of 21,993,343,000 of vehicles, of which
17,927,997 were cars and 4,065,346 commercial vehicle.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
2 - Task Force Infrastructure and Connectivity
Attracting more private capitals is key
he availability of infrastructure plays a fundamental role
in promoting economic development (trade and investment) both
within countries and across different
countries and areas. The need for
infrastructures is set to grow in the
next few decades, driven by several
factors: economic growth, urbanisation and growing traffic congestion,
supply chain globalisation. The changing context will also have to take
into consideration environmental
challenges, the growing mobility of
people, the development of services
and more in general of interactions
at the levels of culture and information. Within this scenario, several issues still need to be resolved: many
parts of infrastructure systems, also
in Europe, are now obsolete, public
finances are becoming increasingly
limited and the launch of new initiatives appears increasingly complex.
Greater involvement of private capital is needed. But most of all it is
important to develop coordinated
action: infrastructures are complex
systems which are more than the
sum of individual sectors and separate initiatives. tional and financial aspects of this
cooperation. - The identification of best practices
with an eye particularly to cross-border infrastructures.
In particular, the Infrastructures,
Connectivity Networks and Space
Technology group proposes the following specific recommendations:
- the strengthening of the different
countries’ financial markets and
their contextual coordination with
international financial institutions;
- the strengthening of the different
countries’ institutional capacity to
predisposing adequately structured
projects with a precise identification of the different aspects involved
(definition of responsibilities and po-
wers of all subjects involved, pricing
of services);
- the training of technicians and experts and the exchange of knowledge and methodologies to address
the interdisciplinary and evaluation
aspects of the various projects;
- the identification and finalising of
“bankable” projects, i.e. suited to
being subject to bank financing;
- the introduction of regulations
aimed at accelerating approval procedures, favour new forms of participation to the different projects,
introduce greater competition in
procurement policies, guarantee
the adoption of adequate technologies;
- adequate long-term programming
of requirements and interventions.
The main topics the Milan Forum is
called upon to address in this context are:
- The definition of a strategy of cooperation between Europe and Asia
to tackle these challenges that require growing coordination at the
regional and global levels.
The Siduhe Bridge (or Sidu River Bridge) is a 1,222 metre (4,009 ft) long suspension
bridge crossing the valley of the Sidu River near Yesanguan in Badong County of
the Hubei Province of the People’s Repubic of China. The bridge spans a 500 metre
(1,600 ft) deep valley and is the highest bridge in the world
- More specifically, the identification
of specific actions capable of strengthening the institutional, organisa-
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Stefano Poli: the challenge
of the ASEAN Economic Community
SEAN: 10 countries, over 610
million inhabitants, a regional integration plan (AEC:
ASEAN Economic Community) in
many ways inspired by the European Union. The objective is to form a
real Economic Union starting from
an already existing free trade area.
Infrastructure plays a strategic role
in this picture. Stefano Poli, President of the Singapore European
Chamber of Commerce and member and past chairman of the EU
ASEAN Business Council Board of
Directors, explains this in the following interview.
Why do most economists see the
ASEAN region as an area with
great potential?
On the whole, the Region’s economies are reaching GDP growth
rates similar to pre-crisis levels. Predictions for the next three years are
in the range of 5.4% yearly. The
main challenge now is to reduce
the inequalities existing within these economies. By means of example, the average per-capita income
in Singapore, which is equal to 38
thousand dollars a year, is 58 times
greater that of Myanmar which
is of 658 dollars. But inequality is
not just between states. Inequalities within states are just as significant. These do not solely concern
income levels, but also and most
of all different aspects of society:
human resources, institutions and
services. These differences natural-
ASEF Deputy Executive Director Amb Nguyen
Quoc Khanh, with President of the Singapore
European Chamber of Commerce Stefano Poli
ly slow down ASEAN’s project of
achieving real economic integration
that would favour the growth of
the business sector. In this context,
the availability of adequate infrastructures has a fundamental role.
It is evident for example that there
can be no productive integration
and development of areas without
adequate transport infrastructure.
For this reason, one of the strategic
commitments of the ASEAN community is the so-called Masterplan
on ASEAN Connectivity (see article
below) which covers both physical
infrastructure and economic regulations, as well as the mobility of human resources and capitals.
Let’s start with the physical infrastructures.
Top priorities are transport and energy. This alone will cover 80% of the
required investments in the next few
years, which are estimated at 480
billion dollars.
How can these be financed?
The adequate availability of capital
is one of the great challenges. Unfortunately, we are still far from the
great levels of private investment in
infrastructure which before the 1997
Asian crisis had reached over of 23
billion dollars. Today these are down
to little more than 15 billion and they
cover only 20% of the total amount.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
The majority of this, i.e. 70% is covered
by public investments which however
are not sufficient. The data shows that
the share of public budget dedicated
to infrastructure in ASEAN countries
has gone down on average from 6 to 4
percent. In other words it was reduced
by a third. And direct aid from Western
and Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan or China certainly will not
make up for the deficit.
social aspects, more than on interregional ones.
tions to identify so-called “best practices”. There is no lack of examples.
What can be done?
There is shared consensus that the
main tool to bridge the gap is effective forms of Public Private Partnership. The theme is also one of the
discussion topics in the Milan Forum.
Can international financial institutions contribute to this process?
They certainly can, they are in fact
very important. Two years ago the
ASEAN Infrastructure Fund was launched with an investment capacity of
around 232 billion a year, co-financed by the Asian Development Bank
(ADB). It has already started operating
with several projects involving power
networks in Indonesia and Vietnam.
This is definitely a case of best practice. It is important also to intervene in
the phase of identification and structuring of projects suitable for PPP. This
is the task undertaken by another
fund, also set up by the ADB with International Enterprise, an organisation
of the Singapore Government. Lastly,
ADB has launched a system of credit
guarantee for private investors (CGIF
Credit Investment & Guarantee Facility) with the participation of ASEAN,
China, Japan and South Korea. The
role of these institutions is however
Do many countries already have
legislation on this matter?
Yes, but the solutions proposed are in
many cases unsuitable. There remains
a widespread problem of transparency
in legislative provisions and decisionmaking processes. With the consequence that investors do not have the
certainty of achieving the predicted
cash flows and being able to repatriate
their profits. There is also the need for
sufficiently structured financial markets
to allow for the potential liquidation of
the position undertaken.
What are the reasons for this decrease in private and public investment?
It is likely that regulations in the Nineties were not as concerned with
environmental and social aspects
and thus allowed for extremely high
margins. Now governments are more
aware of these issues but they still
have not found the right balance.
Simultaneously, regional integration
plans entail an increased demand for
capital and many governments are still
working to find the necessary funds to
dedicate to this project. This is also because they are very focused on national
Are you pessimistic?
Quite the opposite. But we need to
work with governments and institu-
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
not all-encompassing: their presence in individual operations acts as
a form of guarantee for attracting
additional investors. They thus activate financial leverage. But on their
own they certainly do not dispose of
sufficient resources for satisfying the
demand for funds.
gnificant in these countries and this
attracts real interest on the part of
international investors external to
the area. It is a matter of channelling
these funds in the right direction.
Have banks in the region also
grown in strength?
Yes, and in certain business sectors
they are very active. They could do
a lot more in the infrastructure sector however. Some institutions have
started to evaluate the opportunity.
For example the investment portfolio of Bank Central Asia - the main
Indonesian private investment bank
- amounts to 1.5 billion dollars.
What about financial markets?
Things are moving also in that direction. An important initiative for
example is the ASEAN Trade Link,
an agreement between the Stock
Exchanges of Singapore, Malaysia,
Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam
establishing the interconnection
of the different stock markets and
a shared clearing system. On the
whole, this market capitalises over
1,500 billion dollars. It took several
years to achieve this agreement but
it is now a reality. This could provide
an efficient platform for channelling
savings and investment towards infrastructural projects. Savings are si-
Infrastructures are a business opportunity also for European constructors and manufacturers, however they do not seem to adequately
take this into consideration.
We need to make a distinction here. In
terms of construction, the companies
working alongside the big local groups
are mainly Korean, Japanese and Chinese. This is also because apart from a
few big companies, French ones in particular, few European companies have
the necessary structure, size and financial resources required to take on the
role of prime contractor in Asia. There
remains however significant space for
the supply of services (planning in particular) and more specific specialised
activities: tunnelling, subsoil technologies, complex artefacts, sustainable
construction. This requires a real presence on the ground, often with the
establishment of partnerships with
local groups. This is one of the objectives that the European Chambers in
Asia and in particular the EU-ASEAN
Business Council intend to promote.
There are also great opportunities in
terms of infrastructure engineering
activities: power plants and networks,
railways, etc. European countries have
unrivalled technological expertise in
some specific areas, and their presence is stronger in these sectors.
EU ASEAN Business Council
The EU-ASEAN Business Council is an institution
representing and protecting the interests of European
businesses operating in the Southeast Asian region
in their relations with local authorities, the ASEAN
secretariat, the Brussels Commission. It provides
important support to European businesses working
in the region. It organises missions, conferences,
high level meetings with representatives of the
Ministries and local authorities, including a yearly
summit with the participation of the Ministers of
ASEAN and EU member states. The EU-ASEAN Business
Council supports the EU Commission in promoting
the rapid and efficient conclusion of negotiations
undertaken for the establishment of free trade
agreements with ASEAN and with individual member
stats. It encourages the exchange of experiences and
information between companies.
EU-ASEAN Business Council website
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Strategic projects
Masterplan on Asean Connectivity
he Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) is an ambitious project the general guidelines of which were first adopted on
occasion of the 2010 ASEAN summit
in Hanoi and subsequently updated.
It envisages a large number of interventions in the field of physical infrastructure as well as in custom procedures, technical regulations, services
and the mobility of people, with the
aim of accelerating regional integration. In particular, it identifies numerous interregional initiatives with
strategic value in the transport sector (motorways, railways, ports, river
and sea navigation, airports), the
energy sector (gas and oil pipelines,
electrical networks) and the information sector (broadband networks).
These projects often build on already existing structures in the different
countries - motorways, railways, pipelines, power networks - but they
aim to coordinate and complete
interventions enabling interconnection of these systems at the regional level. A relevant example in the
transport sector is the construction
of the SKRL: Singapore Kuming Rail
Link - a railway axis that goes from
Kunming in Western China across
the entire peninsula towards Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia
and into Singapore, spanning over 7
thousand kilometres, with a branch
going into Lao PDR and a connecting
half-ring across Thailand in the direction of Myanmar. Over 4 thousand
kilometres of track are still missing
or require rehabilitation to complete the project. Another important
example, in the field of roadworks,
is the completion of the ASEAN Highway Network (AHN) which spans
over 38 thousand kilometres of route
of which at least 5,500 kilometres require improvement and modernisation and another 2,500 kilometres of
new links are to be built in areas with
high volumes of traffic. As regards
maritime transportation, the plan is
to make over 50 thousand kilometres
of inland waterways navigable and
47 ports fully efficient. In the energy field, there are projects to extend
the ASEAN Power Grid connecting
also the networks of Indonesia, the
Philippines, Myanmar, and strengthening interconnection with Lao PDR
and Vietnam. In the gas sector, there
are plans to add 2,200 kilometres of
interregional gas pipelines to the existing 2,300 kilometres, creating a grid
connecting all countries except, for
the time being, Vietnam and Lao PDR.
Text by the MPAC
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
3 - Task Force Energy
A strategic role for Central Asia
emographic and economic
growth entail constantly increasing levels of energy consumption. 1.3 billion people in the
world today still lack access to electricity. It is estimated that by 2030,
overall energy demand will surpass
current consumption by 27%. The
International Energy Agency predicts
a cumulative global investment bill
of around 48 trillion dollars by 2035,
of which 40 trillion will be required
to guarantee energy production and
additional supply and the remaining
8 trillion to increase energy infrastructure efficiency. Whilst renewable
energies will have an increasingly important role, fossil fuels will continue
to be the major source of energy. In
substance, all possible energy sources
will have to be mobilised. In the face
of the uneven distribution of available resources, worldwide energy
exchanges are extremely important.
Both Europe and the Asia-Pacific region are net energy importers whilst
Russia, the Middle East and the Caspian Region are importers as well as
exporters to the world market. Europe imports a significant amount of
oil and condensates and 45% of the
natural gas it consumes. This quota is
set to rise to 60% by 2025, with the
decline in local production. The AsiaPacific region depends on the outside
for 70% of its oil and condensates
and such dependency is set to grow
by an estimated 50% by 2040, concomitantly with the growth in consumption. For similar reasons, natural
gas imports are also set to grow from
the current 15% to 35% of the total
requirement, with a strong increase in
liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is an
extremely important challenge which
must be addressed through constant
intergovernmental dialogue and with
a non-discriminatory approach.
The working group’s recommendations focus in particular on energy
policies aimed at attracting significant private investment, limiting government action to regulation and
monitoring functions thus allowing
investors to make reliable predictions.
Recommendations further suggest
that objectives be set always with
a view to environmental protection
and to the development of renewable
energy. This should be done in such a
way as not to threaten security of supply or negatively impact on competitiveness between different countries.
In particular, they insist on the gradual
phasing out of subsidies to well-established sources of renewable energy
and low levels of emissions and call for
the adoption of neutral policies which
would allow for market forces to determine the most competitive energy
sources based on tariffs reflecting actual production costs. The financial incentives thus freed could be invested
in research into and development of
new technologies. The group refers
to the negative example of the five
major European countries where the
total amount of incentives to renewable energy sources amounts to 48
billion euros, exponentially surpassing
the funds dedicated to research and
development (315 million). A long list
of strategic research and investment
areas is outlined. As well as renewable sources, these include smart grids,
energy storage, nuclear fusion and
modular nuclear plants, shale gas and
oil, carbon monoxide capture technology and emission reduction, energy
efficiency technology in industrial processes, construction and transport. In
this regard there are multiple potential
areas of cooperation between Europe
and Asia particularly in terms of Research Institutes, Universities and cofinanced programmes.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Reserves, production and consumption
Oil and Natural Gas
Reserves in million barrels
Compound average growth rate 2000 - 2013
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
Rest of the world
(Source: Oil& Gas Review 2013)
The table shows the classification of
the top ten countries in the world in
terms of proven oil reserves. Together,
these countries control 84% of the
world total oil reserves. The only ASEM
member amongst them is Russia.
Comparing data on production with
data on demand, and excluding from
the picture the Russian Federation,
some significant observations emerge.
Asia-Pacific and Europe figure respectively as the first and third countries
for oil consumption and they occupy
respectively the penultimate and last
positions in terms of production. On
the whole, they are net oil importers
for a quota equal to 37% of the world
total. The quota is set to grow the years ahead to the double phenomenon
of the steady increase in Asian consumption and the decline in production particularly in Europe. Europe covers 25% of its energy requirements
through its own resources whilst in
Asia this is slightly higher at 28%. The
Russian Federation and Central Asia
are both exceptions as they have a
strategic role for both markets with
Production in million barrels
per year
a coverage equal to 3.4 times the requirements of the Russian Federation.
In the case of Azerbaijan, production
exceeds demand by 10.7 times and
for Kazakhstan the value is of 4.3
times. Up to now, these countries
have mainly exported to Europe, but
thanks to the new oil pipelines from
Kazakhstan and West Siberia towards
China, they now aim to operate in the
direction of the Far East. Middle Eastern countries however remain the
main suppliers for both the European
and Asia-Pacific regions.
Consumption in million barrels
per year
Compound annual growth rate
in consumption
Russia and Central Asia
Middle East
North America
Latin America
(Source: Oil& Gas Review 2013)
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Reserves, production and consumption
The imbalance of reserves, production
and consumption is replicated, albeit
with different characteristics, in the
natural gas sector. In Europe, this makes
up for over 28% of the primary energy
sources and has a strong prevalence in
the electricity sector, whereas in Asia
natural gas is still third after oil and coal
with a quota of only 11%.
The difference with oil is given by the
fact that the great majority of natural
gas exports takes place through gas
pipelines that involve massive investment on top of the investments necessary for extraction and for the establishment of multi-year supply/purchase
agreements between producer countries and consumer countries. In this
picture, Russia and the Central Asian
states supplying Europe have a crucial role. These countries have already
launched a series of projects to extend
Reserves (billion m3)
their export gas pipelines into China
and the Indian subcontinent. At the
same time, to bridge the gap between
consumption and production, the supply chain of liquefied natural gas exported via ship transport is growing,
allowing importing countries – Asian
ones in particular – to access supplies
from a more extensive geographical
area, with a view particularly to the
Middle East.
Production (billion m3)
Consumption (billion m3)
Russia and Central Asia
Middle East
North America
Latin America
(Source: Oil& Gas Review 2013)
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Reserves, production and consumption
Renewable energy
In the current situation, renewable
energies still play a marginal role.
In 2013, European consumption –
excluding Russia and Central Asia
where production of renewable
energy is irrelevant – amounted to
112.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent out of a total primary energy
consumption of 1.185 billion barrels.
Production was concentrated to a limited number of countries. In first
place was Germany with 29.7 million tonnes of mainly wind energy,
followed by Spain (16.8) and Italy
(13) with a strong component of
solar energy, and the UK (10.9). In
the Asia-Pacific region on the other
hand, production was of 782 million
tonnes of oil equivalent of which
429 in China – mainly from wind
farms – and 117 in India.
In Europe coal still has a significant
though decreasing role with 302.3
million tonnes of oil equivalent.
The situation is similar in Russia and
Central Asia with 173.4 million tonnes. In Asia on the other hand, coal
is still second only to oil with 3826.7
million tonnes of which 1925.3 in
China, where it remains the primary
source of energy.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Reserves, production and consumption
Hydroelectric energy
In Europe, hydroelectric sources are
already for the most part exploited
and they cover a total of 139.1 million tonnes of oil equivalent. In Russia and Central Asia, they cover 62.2
million and in Asia 308.7 million of
which 206.3 in India alone.
Nuclear energy
This remains the primary source of
energy in France with a production
of 95.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent out of a European total of 205.1
million. Russia and Ukraine maintain
a significant role with 57.9 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea and China dominate the sector
with a production of 31.4 and 25
million respectively, out of a total of
77.8 million.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
4 - Task force Food and Water Security
The winning approach: technology
and integrated projects
demonstrative experiences, rules aimed at opening up markets and making them more efficient, and inclusive policies able to involve small and
medium agricultural entrepreneurs.
The involvement of the private sector
in addition to public administrations
is crucial to meeting these needs. This
complex challenge is also at the heart of the Universal Exposition taking
place in Milan in 2015 with the title: “Feeding the Planet. Energies for
The AEBF task-force proposals on this
theme are the following:
- the establishment of a regulatory
framework able to favour the development of the necessary infrastructure and incentivise private sector
ood security intended as the sufficient availability of food and the
adequate access to water supplies are some of the great concerns
of the twenty-first century. These issues can be addressed through the
use of efficient irrigation systems, the
provision of adequate equipment for
tillage and initial product processing,
and the reduction of the massive losses due to product deterioration as a
consequence of the lack of reliable systems of storage and transport.
These are issues that individual agricultures cannot resolve by themselves. They require capital and infrastructure, programmes of agricultural
enhancement, technical knowledge,
involvement. This includes adequate
policies for the pricing of services and
for opening up the product market
and the creation of investment funds
and dedicated financing channels;
- a better use of water resources
through the adoption of appropriate
technologies and management systems based also on the indications
of the World Economic Forum’s Water Resource Group;
- the re-opening and conclusion of
the Doha Round;
- the coordination of the different
interventions with an integrated approach dealing with the whole value
chain: from storage and transport to
distribution and the efficient use of
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Giuliano Pisapia: Milan’s commitment
to a sustainable planet
taly’s financial capital of Milan
is preparing to host Expo 2015,
which will be dedicated to the themes of food security and global nutritional resources. We interview the
city’s mayor Giuliano Pisapia.
Food and Water Safety and Security are the two most important themes of Expo 2015. Why
did an “industrial” city such as
Milan choose these themes?
Milan is the economic and financial capital of Italy, it has innovation
and creativity in its DNA. But Milan
is also the country’s second agricultural city, with its farmhouses and
agri-food sector. It is a city of water,
with its Navigli - even Leonardo da
Vinci worked on the city’s hydraulic system - and its Darsena, the
ancient port which on occasion of
Expo 2015 will once again become a
point of reference in one of the city’s
most ancient parts. It is also an international city in the heart of Europe,
connected with the entire world and
perhaps most importantly with the
other metropolises committed to
building sustainable development.
For all these reasons it was awarded
Expo 2015 with the theme “Feeding
the Planet. Energy for Life”. Differently to the past, the challenge of food
security has become a global issue
and as such it requires global responses. Expo Milano will thus be a
strategic step in what has effectively
become a race against time. With a
twofold objective: the exchange of
research and innovation between
businesses to provide answers that
are as concrete as possible, and the
necessary greater coordination of
Food policy at the global level.
What initiatives are you taking
to involve participating countries in these themes?
I hope that a “Global agreement
on the right to healthy and secure
nutrition” will be undersigned by
most - if not all - of the over 140
participating countries. This should
be the greatest legacy of Expo Milano 2015. The Italian Government
is also working towards this goal in
collaboration with other countries
and the main international organisations, among them the European Union and the United Nations.
For its part, Milan is working online
with 50 other world metropolises
to finalise the “Urban Food Policy
Pact”, a project that I launched in
quality of Mayor of Milan last year
in Johannesburg, on occasion of the
summit of the C40 – the network
of metropolises working to fight climate change and to build the Smart
Cities of the future. We will produce
a protocol on urban policy for sustainable food which will be signed by
the Mayors of the greatest possible
number of world cities during a big
international event in October 2015,
at the closing of Expo Milano.
Food safety entails the use
of adequate procedures and
technologies. Do you believe Milan and Europe in general have
the experience and innovative
skills required?
Milan, Italy and Europe will be the
protagonists of Expo 2015 in this
field. Constant innovation in agriculture, the high quality food chain,
some of the most advanced regulations in the world in terms of controls
and security, are some of the cards
they can play on the world level.
The numerous Italian and European
best practices and the interactions
between the research and business
sectors will be confronted with other
world leaders in agriculture. First of
all the United States, who will put
the best of their technology and in-
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
tural models. Do you think Milan
and the Lombardia region have
experiences and best practices to
For the city of Milan, there is a significant legacy of Expo 2015 that I want
to highlight on this point. In line with
the theme of the Universal Exposition,
rethinking the entire urban food supply chain has been central to the city’s
agenda for some time. This is a significant step in the construction of the
Smart City we are working towards.
The smart and sustainable city we envisage will guarantee a better quality
of life to its citizens and will be competitive in the global world. This is a
fundamental challenge for Milan. It is
a challenge which is not just made of
“km 0” food or suburban agriculture,
or of a model based on small busines-
novation on show with their “Food
2.0” pavilion and that in any case –
just as much as many other countries
from Asia to Latin America do – look
to Europe and Italy as models of a
healthy diet and a sustainable food
supply chain. Millions of people all
over the world still die each year of
hunger or malnutrition. But today, as
diets across the world are becoming
more homogenised, more and more
people suffer also the effects of an
unhealthy or excessive nutrition:
obesity, with its important social
and economic costs, is now a plague
affecting the global North as well as
the global South. Europe and Italy
have a lot to say on this.
Food security implies the development of “sustainable” agricul-
ses and cooperatives. It is most of all
about the creation of a new and positive relation between producers, distributors and those who deal directly
with the consumers. This is what we
are working on in collaboration with
the best research institutions and the
businesses and organisations active
in this field. With particular attention
to fighting food wastage: this will be
one of the main themes of the Expo
and one on which the city of Milan
is working in connection with other
important European cities.
Expo Milano will not be a simple display of products and technology, but
rather a display of ideas and exchange
of best practices for the right to a safe
and healthy nutrition for all, for a sustainable development for the future
of the Planet.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Diana Bracco: an international event
open to businesses
usinesswoman and Expo 2015
President Diana Bracco explains
how the organisers are preparing to welcome economic operators
from all over the world.
The theme of food & water security implies social aspects but
also some very important business aspects: technology, services, networks. What space will
be given to these elements in
the Expo?
Food and water security is a crucial
theme of Expo 2015. Its title, “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life”,
raises the question of nutrition with
a double aim. On the one hand, to
guarantee sufficient resources to
those living in conditions of malnutrition. On the other, to tackle the
great new social ills of our time –
from obesity to cardiovascular diseases – exploiting innovations and
practices allowing for a healthier
way of living.
The Expo will be in this sense a unique opportunity to identify concrete
solutions, evaluating international
experiences and opinions to give
life to new projects in the fields of
health and nutrition. Businesses will
have a central role in this process.
The agri-food industry is facing extremely significant challenges. These do not necessarily have a clear
name: increasing productivity in
subsistence agriculture and in the
broader food chain to respond to
the issue of world hunger; tackling
the problem of food wastage, which
rather than diminishing over the
past few years has increased by an
alarming 50%; nutritional education
and so on.
The Italian food industry has already
largely accepted these challenges. It
is world leader in terms of food safety, and its water purification and
desalinisation industries also stand
out internationally.
Innovation and technology will be
the main drivers of Expo Milano.
The entire Expo set up uses the most
advanced technological solutions
for welcoming visitors and guaranteeing their comfort and security.
Exposition spaces organised around
thematic paths and “mappings”
will present their content exploiting
advanced techniques to increase
ease of access and enhance visitor
Will specific services and meetings be put in place to help bu-
sinesses make the most of the
opportunity for international
visibility provided by the Expo?
Absolutely. The theme involves several industrial sectors. The entire
system of production, the food industry, the health sector, tourism,
fashion, design, furniture, services,
transport and logistics, ICT, communication and so on – are all crucial
to adding value to the Expo and benefiting from its effects. Organisations will be given the opportunity
to support initiatives or exhibitions
in the Pavilion’s events programme.
One of the main tasks of the Italian
Pavilion will be the promotion of the
high quality of Made in Italy. Hundreds of foreign delegations will visit the Pavilion over the six months
of the Expo. We have set ourselves
two very concrete objectives: to
strongly support Italian businesses
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
for investment in the food and
water industries and more in general of public-private partnership forms of collaboration.
Investment in the food and water
sectors is strategic for the whole
of humanity. Water as well as food
must be at the centre of any reflection on resources and their efficient
use. Water is the necessary component and lifeblood of every form of
life on the planet, it is the food of
in their internationalisation process, for instance raising the export
quota of our agri-food sector, and
to relaunch tourism as a structural
fact with a view to the long term. In
substance, the Expo will be a great
opportunity for promoting Italy.
The Asian-Europe Business Forum task force recommendations
stress the role of governments in
creating the enabling conditions
food itself. A relentless fight against
wastage is just as necessary for water as it is for food. And certainly
today collaborations and partnerships are more essential than ever.
A fairer distribution of resources
and access to food contribute to
social harmony and the peace
amongst peoples. Sharing of food is
a tool for integration, it encourages
exchange and dialogue and fosters
mutual understanding.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Main business federations
of Asia-Pacific ASEM partner countries
Australian Federation of Employers and Industries
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Bangladesh Employers Federation
BIMP-EAGA Business Council Brunei Darussalam
Brunei National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business
China Enterprise Confederation
All China Federation of Commerce and Industries
Confederation of Indian Industries
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Kadin: Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and
The Employers’ Association of Indonesia (APINDO)
Japan Business Federation (Keindaren)
www.keidanre Korea Employers’ Federation (KEF)
Korea Employers Federation Laos
Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of
Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF)
Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry
Mongolia National Chamber of Commerce
Mongolian Employers’ Federation
New Zealand
Business New Zealand
Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP)
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Main business federations
of Asia-Pacific ASEM partner countries
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP)
Employers Confederation of Thailand
Employers Confederation of Thailand
Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
Singapore National Employers’ Federation (SNEF)
Asean Confederation Of Employers
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)
The Thai Chamber Of Commerce and Board of Trade
Main European businesses federations
Fédération des Entreprises de Belgique
Confederation of Danish Industry
Confederation of Danish Employers
Bulgarian Industrial Association
Croatian Employers’ Association (Croatian Association
of Employers) Chamber of Economy
Estonian Employers’ Confederation – ETTK
Confederation of Finnish Industries
Cyprus Industrialists and Employers Association
Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF)
Czech Republic
Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic
Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V.
Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen
Arbeitgeberverbände e.V.
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Main European businesses federations
Hellenic Federation of Enterprises
Vereniging VNO-NC
Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO)
Federation of Icelandic Industries
Polish Confederation Lewiatan
Confederazione Generale dell’ Industria Italiana
Chamber of Commerce of Astana
Almaty Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Associaçáo Industrial Portuguesa – AIP
CIP Confederação Empresarial de Portugal
Alianta Confederatiilor Patronale din
Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
Employers’ Confederation of Latvia
San Marino
Associazione Nazionale Industria San Marino
The Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists
Republikova Unia Zamestnavatelov
Business Federation Luxembourg
Employers’ Association of Slovenia
Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and
Confederación Española de Organizaciones
Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014
Main European businesses federations
Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
United Kingdom
Confederation of British Industry
Federation des Entreprises Suisses
European Union
Business Europe
Newsletter Realizzata dal Sole 24 Ore in collaborazione con la Direzione Generale per la Promozione del Sistema Paese
Ufficio I (Promozione e Coordinamento delle iniziative di internazionalizzazione del Sistema Economico) del Ministero degli Affari Esteri
Pubblicazione in formato elettronico
Registrazione Tribunale di Milano n. 266 del 2 Maggio 2007
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Sonia Lombardi
Progetto editoriale:
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Diplomazia Economica Italiana - 14 October 2014