''We still have a very Euro-centric perception," Monti said, and "we have forgotten our neighbours". The role of press agencies and other media is therefore "fundamental" for the creation of "a fertile ground" for a decade of development in the region, as all conditions for it already exist. The idea was also backed by the ANSA CEO, Giuseppe Cerbone, who stated that "clear and transparent information" is vital in creating the conditions for Italy to benefit from the opportunities in the Mediterranean region and in increasing business confidence. Biagio Matranga, the General Director of Banca Ubae, shares this view, saying that too little is being invested in the Maghreb, "because we know very little about North Africa", in spite of "a common cultural background deeply rooted in time". Of course, every country is different from the others: the Gulf's oil kingdoms seek opportunities for investment abroad, while Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia "really need to create a productive economy in their country." With regards to Libya, it has already issued a law, as Matranga reported (referring to law 103/2012) providing for a maximum percentage of foreign participation in companies incorporated in Libya totalling 65% (in some cases up to 80%).
Although the uprisings that began a year and a half ago have brought about a slowdown in Italian investments, there has been a considerable increase in interest by Italian investors in recent months, as the President of the Italian-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Sergio Marini pointed out.
Marini also stressed that Italy's strength is a high degree of specialisation to offer to the region's economies. Massimo D'Aiuto, CEO and General Director of Simest, a financial company specialised in the development and promotion of Italian businesses abroad, talked about a diversified scenario for each single country. D'Aiuto gave a positive assessment of future perspectives in Algeria, where investments are still on the rise for 2011, and also with regard to Egypt and Tunisia, in spite of last year's decrease. D'Aiuto reiterated his confidence in the recovery of the Libyan economy, where a new Tripoli desk has been opened. (ANSAmed). D'Aiuto also believes that the role of agencies and of the media is fundamental, because "distances are increasingly short".
Also at the talks were Marco Bruschini, representing Italy's tourism organisation (ENIT), Lucio Battistotti, the head of Italy's representation at the EU Commission, and Daniel Ratcliff, from the information office of the European Parliament.