Monday, 20 March 2023, Düsseldorf, NRW, Germany: Premier Hendrik Wüst received Italy’s Ambassador Armando Varricchio for his inaugural visit to the State Chancellery. The exchange focused on the close relations between the two countries, and the further expansion of the partnership with the Piedmont region, which was concluded last year.
Premier Hendrik Wüst as per statement below written in the German-language: “For us, Italy is a focal country in our relations and an important partner in Europe. Many people in North Rhine-Westphalia have Italian roots, and our civil society and economic ties are close. Together we face great challenges. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has once again made clear to us how important it is to have a strong and capable European Union. This is what we are working for together with Italy. Our Union becomes even stronger when individual regions are also connected with each other. With our Italian partner region Piedmont, we are therefore working on concrete projects with added value for both sides on the topics of artificial intelligence, hydrogen and autonomous driving. At the same time, we are strengthening cohesion in Europe with our regional partnership.”
Another topic of the exchange was Premier Hendrik Wüst’s upcoming trip to Rome from Wednesday to Thursday, 22-23 March 2023. On Thursday, the Premier will meet The Bishop of Rome, Franciscus I in a private audience, and political talks are also planned.
Background North Rhine-Westphalia and Italy
Italy is an important partner for North Rhine-Westphalia. With a trade volume of 23.8 billion euros (2021), Italy is North Rhine-Westphalia’s sixth largest trading partner, ahead of Poland and after the USA. Around 400 Italian subsidiaries with 16,400 employees are based in North Rhine-Westphalia. More than 141,300 Italians live here – one in four Italians living in Germany. There are currently 17 town twinning agreements between North Rhine-Westphalia and Italy, including Cologne with Turin, Unna with Pisa and Oberhausen with Iglesias.
For further information
Government of NRW: https://www.land.nrw/pressemitteilung/ministerpraesident-hendrik-wuest-empfaengt-den-botschafter-italiens-armando