Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West | The Sistema Italia in Canada Meeting 2020
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26 Nov The Sistema Italia in Canada Meeting 2020

Paolo Quattrocchi, director of Centro Studi Italia Canada, accepted the invitation from the Italian Embassy in Ottawa to participate in the Sistema Italia in Canada Meeting. Here is his report of the appointment that once again this year brought together the main companies, institutions and associations that promote friendship and commercial relations between Italy and Canada.


Paolo Quattrocchi*


On November 19, 2020, the annual meeting of the Sistema Italia in Canada was held in virtual mode.

Promoted and organized by the Italian Embassy in Ottawa, this important event was attended by leading Italian institutions in Canada: from the ICE Canada Office to the delegation of the Bank of Italy in North America, by a representative of the Italian Ministry of Defense, to representatives of the Italian Chamber of Commerce system in Canada, as well as a large number of Italian companies operating in Canada.


Centro Studi Italia Canda was also invited to the event.


The Italian Ambassador in Ottawa Claudio Taffuri opened the meeting by expressing his satisfaction both for how relations between Italy and Canada have withstood the test of Covid, demonstrating great resilience in a period as difficult as the one we are experiencing, and for the positive trend in commercial relations between the two countries, despite the serious consequences caused by the pandemic.




In the period of the Ambassador’s stay in Ottawa, the volume of exports grew with a double-digit trend and the volume of Italian investments in Canada doubled, passing from 1.4 to 3.0 billion euros.


New and qualified companies were able to benefit from major infrastructure projects in the energy and transport sectors launched by the Canadian Federal Government and the new procurement law introduced by CETA has favored such presences.

Add to this the support given to Italian companies by the joint initiative of ICE and the Italian Embassy which in 2019 gave life to the Osservatorio Gare e Appalti.

Also as part of the Public Procurement, the Taffuri Ambassador recalled the Canadian mission that visited our country in February 2020 from which important collaborations were born.


Matteo Picariello, Director of the ICE Canada Office, then intervened and illustrated in detail the trend of commercial relations between Italy and Canada, focusing on the effects of the pandemic sector by sector which, however, had a lower negative effect for Italy compared to that suffered by other European states, recording a lower decline than that of all the countries that export to Canada except for China: an important and in any case flattering result.


The leading sectors remained the food and pharmaceutical sectors, both of which suffered less fluctuation than others. There was a significant increase in online sales which, already very active in Canada, showed a further increase in volumes.


It was therefore the turn of Giovanni Majnoni of the Bank of Italy who offered a broad and exhaustive examination of the trend of the Canadian economy and of how the Federal Government faced the pandemic with significant financial interventions made possible by the particular positive trend of Canada recorded in recent years. Despite the pandemic, the reduction in Canadian GDP will turn out to be better than originally forecast and in the coming years a recovery is expected to be reduced by 50% compared to that originally forecast.


The intervention by General Stefano Cont closed the speeches of the Italian institutions.

The General, in reiterating the harmony that binds the Canadian and Italian armed forces for purposes and attitudes, underlined the role that the two countries play in the international arena.

He then highlighted the great opportunities that Canada offers for industries in the sector, hoping for the implementation of initiatives with a continuity character that bring Italian defense sector companies closer to Canadian ones, taking into account the important development plans organized by the federal government.


This year, the Canadian guest of the event was Nathalie Béchamp, Chief Investor Service of Invest in Canada.


Ms. Bechamp presented Invest in Canada established in March 2018 as a National Investment Promotion Agency. The Agency operates through its own offices located throughout Canada.


Invest in Canada has two priorities:

  • the first is to promote Canada as the main destination for foreign investors;
  • the second is to assist and coordinate the investor with all government, federal and provincial levels. The assistance activity is carried out through an agile and versatile structure, highly specialized in the evaluation of all the variables of interest to the investor: from marketing intelligence operations, preparation of business presentations, business plans, analysis and evaluation of programs promoted to various levels of government, evaluation of collaboration opportunities with local companies.


Mrs. Bechamp then offered an overview of the main support initiatives offered by the Canadian government during the pandemic, as well as some specific initiatives in favor of investors: among these, the Global Skills Strategy has aroused particular interest, which allows highly qualified human resources to enter the country through a two-week procedure to meet the job needs of foreign investors. The program is enjoying considerable success with 92% of applications accepted.


Mrs. Bechamp then described the government actions in support of investors who engage in the fields of technological innovation both in the form of tax breaks and through the Strategic Innovation Fund, describing their structure and functioning.


Ambassador Taffuri then closed the meeting, recalling, with some regret, that this would be his last participation in the Sistema Italia meeting since his mandate is about to expire.


Next year it will be up to others to keep alive the commitment of the various components of the Sistema Italia in Canada: from the ICE to the Italian Chambers of Commerce in Canada, all present with their own representatives), from the Companies to those, such as the Centro Studi Italia Canada, is active in the relationship between Italy and Canada.


*Director of Centro Studi Italia Canada, Partner of Nctm Studio Legale,

Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West.

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