Vincenzo Ercole Salazar Sarsfied, Global Head of Italian Infrastructure Industry of MFA and ANCE, Guest of January Smart Talk.

January 18, 2022


It was held on Tuesday 18th the January Smart Talk that hosted Vincenzo Ercole Salazar Sarsfied, Global Head of Italian Infrastructure Industry of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Italian Association of Constructors (ANCE), focusing on Business Opportunities in the Construction Sector for Italian Companies in Cyprus and in the Mediterranean Area.

After the introductory greetings by the President of the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Giuseppe Marino, the discussion was moderated by Costas Kastaros, Vice President of the Chamber.

The Smart Talk offered to the audience a general overview of the main areas of intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ANCE regarding the Italian Infrastructure Industry. Mr. Salazar Sarsfied highlighted the importance of promotion of this field abroad, also with reference to the supporting role of MAECI and the Embassies in assisting businesses and the strategic nature of the Italian presence abroad in the infrastructure sector, also in order to stimulate demand for other Italian products.

Mr. Salazar’s role in this process is to be an organic bridge in the internationalisation process between Italian companies and institutional bodies such as Embassies, ICE Agency and bilateral Chambers of Commerce and on the other hand, in Italy, to create direct interaction between companies and financial institutions such as, among others, SACE and SIMEST. Among other tasks, another important part of its role is the organisation of trade missions abroad.

Furthermore, Mr. Salazar explained how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the infrastructure system in Italy to recover from the pandemic. In fact, the Italian government, based on the propose of the MFA, sustained Italian companies in every possible way, and more specifically, creating the “Pack of Export” to relaunch Italy in the world. Italian Sector Associations and ANCE, as the biggest Constructor Association in Italy, joined actively the initiative. It was created a specific communication plan, an integrated promotion, elaborated training and information tools for digital commerce, and it was established a dedicated website ( ) for the companies interested in internationalization, to allow them identifying services and download contents, or ask for specific advises. Italian companies received a higher advantage than expected: during last year, thanks also for the NPRR and planned intervention, the GDP grew +6.3%, and estimation for 2022 is +4.7%.

ANCE also showed that national construction sector increased its turnover, enabling Italian companies to have more power to handle international projects. ANCE has 20.000+ associated companies, 50 billion euro of international interventions, 800 sites of constructions abroad. 70% of ANCE’s companies’ turnover is international. This demonstrates how Italian companies are capable of accepting challenges and work in every kind of place and soil, thanks to their competences and know-how. The biggest market is especially in Europe, North America, but also in Middle East. Of course Cyprus is a target market and Italian companies are really attracted for its favourable conditions, as well for the significant national resources, GDP per capita is similar to Spain, Italy or France, and its geographical position poses the country as a natural hub, where Italian companies can settle to open to other countries’ markets, and not forget, Cyprus is a full member to EU that give full access to significant benefit.

Additionally, Mr. Salazar recalled the Easter Mediterranean Conference (EMC), where he participated as guest speaker with the President of the Chamber Giuseppe Marino and the Director of ITA Beirut Claudio Pasqualucci, underling how there are significant opportunities in Cyprus in several areas, as Maritime Sector, Construction of Hospitals and University Facilities, Gas Infrastructure, and also Energy Transition.

Finally, he congratulated with the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce for its contribution and active work in supporting companies in the construction sector, offering several tools such as the Tender Bulletin, the analysis of local market, a correct timing in organizing trade missions. He then adviced companies to associate and to use the intermediation of the Chamber of Commerce in order to maximize the exploitation of business opportunities and reduce the risks.

The conclusions where left to Vice President Federico Franchina who remarked the relevance of infrastructure sector, not only the usual infrastructure, but also in regard to oil and gas, maritime, hospitalization, which are sector of interest and growth for the future. Cyprus shows a lot of opportunities and for this reasons it is an interesting market for Italian companies that can offer specific knowledge and organization.

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Last modified: February 1, 2022

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