Montecarlo- Jean Castellini’s surname is Italian, of Ligurian origins, from La Spezia to be precise. He’s the Principality of Monaco’s minister of Finance and Economy. “This is where many Italian entrepreneurs come to invest,”he explains to the MediTelegraph, “as they feel secure here”. Mr. Castellini was one of the most talked-about participants at Frost & Sullivan’s Gil Global Event. The purpoe of the event was to discuss new European and global prospects for trade.
Minister, how does one explain Monaco’s strong pull on foreign companies?
Aren’t the financial perks you offer the reason?
“We have a winning model: firstly, what we offer is security, one that often is lacking elsewhere, especially within Europe”.
How about Italian business people in Monaco: what are their activities and their sectors of choice?
“Ours is a maritime world. Because of that we have strong connections with boating firms, many, from Liguria and Tuscany for example, have their offices in Monte Carlo and sail their vessels into our port. During Monaco’s Boat Show event there are hundreds of boats, many berth here at other times of the year, too”.
“Anything from the made in Italy brand is valued here. Finance and real estate industry also come to mind. Likewise, the roughly eight thousand Italians employed in various jobs, that come daily to work in Monte Carlo. We have around fifty thousand such commuters, many of which are French”.
What was your main message during Frost & Sullivan’s Gil Global Event?
“There are two aspects. Firstly, my speech presented our economic situation, which is completely positive, especially when compared to other companies. Secondly, I explained at length how the Principality is serious about its continued economic growth, with special attention given to innovation and environmental protection”.
How do you see the present economic crisis affecting much of the EU, including Italy?
“I don’t wish to pass judgement: I just observe. Certainly, in many cases, it’s not a simple situation. The Principality of Monaco, however, should not be compared to Italy or France, we’re just proud to be able to cooperate with such countries, on a daily basis”.
Still, would you offer a recipe for a turnaround from the current recession?
“Just a piece of advice: trust the ingenuity of your business people and focus on the “made in Italy” brand. They will see you through”.