The Associazione Italia-Asean was founded in 2015. This is an important event that takes place in a crucial time for Italy, Europe, and Asean countries. Italia-Asean’s mission is to strengthen the relationships among and make more evident the reciprocal opportunities for both firms and institutions.

The completion of an important step in the path of economic integration of Asean countries marks a turning point in the history of the Asian continent as well as in the prospects of future connections with the European Union.

Expectations are that the recent steps towards further trade and economic integration will generate growth, improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of the area, and promote trust among those populations. If these expectations are confirmed, there will be better future perspectives. From the outside, Italy has to demonstrate full support to help foster this path of integration.

Additionally, Italy has an even stronger interest. This is given by the several entrepreneurial successes of Italian firms operating in Asean countries. Many entrepreneurs that have successfully worked on the ground are the strongest testimonials for the enormous opportunities that further integration between Italy and Asean could generate.

At the same time, the question we should raise is whether we want to learn from the recent crisis and, therefore, whether we want to seize the opportunities that the process of internationalisation offers.

However, there are no doubts about the fact that Italy’s and Italian entrepreneurs’ best achievements have been realised when they took the chance, when they followed and anticipated the changes occurring in the world. This is the challenge that we are looking at today, when considering the outstanding development and growth that is taking place in that part of Asia.