Across several fronts, FS Italiane is pursuing agreements with certain foreign railway companies with a view to concrete cooperation (concerning, for example, the development of mobility and/or traffic systems, staff training or managerial consultation) to relaunch the development of its business. The Group has chosen to join associations and foundations with an international scope, aiming towards identifying possible synergies in the local and international markets. To this end are both the understanding reached with RZD—the Russian Railways—for the development of railway and logistics traffic, and the recent adhesion to the Italy-China Foundation and the Italy-India Association.
At this stage, it is more imperative than ever to also take part in the various initiatives enacted by the Italian institutions. Amongst these, in particular, are:
- webinars dedicated to Italian entrepreneurs interested in international markets, a series of interactive video-conferences promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and by ICE (the Italian Trade Agency) to provide information and updates on opportunities in priority markets for Italian exports and on the instruments that the Italian System provides for re-launching national companies in foreign countries;
- sectoral roundtables, initiated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, uniting trade associations and business representatives, to bring together the productive forces and the Ministry itself in a common communication strategy (the “Export Pact”).
In particular, some new levers for managing the COVID-19 emergency were illustrated in conjunction with the webinars, sharing the operational aspects rendered available to Italian institutions. The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group—also through its subsidiaries SACE and Simest—aims to ensure continuity in corporate activities and to increase the available resources, elevate flexibility and efficiency, and reduce costs. The identified instruments aim to provide a further injection of liquidity, support in export and an extension to the deadline for payables. Specifically, SACE has arranged for an increase of 1.5 billion euro to the credit limit for export working capital, an increase of half a billion for the cap for credit suppliers and an extension of the guarantees for an additional 200 billion. The CDP has set up a “mid- to large-” credit line with 2 billion euro for financing Italian companies operating abroad.
ICE, the agency dedicated to the promotion and internationalisation of Italian firms abroad, has set up various services for businesses, with a good part being non-repayable, for the purpose of helping to deepen the knowledge of the foreign market of interest, and to create the conditions to expand its business (for example, information on international tenders and financing, product datasheets, advanced training and consulting services, research consultants/investors, and so on).
In the context of the health and economic emergency arising as a result of COVID-19, the numerous and imperative initiatives being implemented are fundamental tools for relaunching the national system and the international role of the FS Italiane Group.