News Release Archive

Three Italian companies have reached agreements with the
provincial government to set up branch plants that will employ
hundreds of Nova Scotians in the years ahead.
As well, in what may be a first for a Canadian province, Nova
Scotia signed a deal today with an Italian province aimed at
developing economic opportunities and cultural ties.
The four agreements, totalling more than $60 million in project
costs, are the direct result of an Italian delegation that has
been examining investment possibilities in Nova Scotia during the
past several days.

Among the four agreements reached this past week is a Protocol of
Collaboration with the Industrial Association of the Province of 
Ascoli Piceno, an industry-rich region on Italy's Adriatic coast.

Financial investments by both governments will help Italian
companies expand into Nova Scotia.  The provincial government of
Ascoli Piceno is adopting a unique position in this instance.
Access to the North American marketplace will strengthen the
parent companies back in Italy.
"We've been working day and night to reach accords on several
fronts and I'm extremely pleased with the progress we've made
this  week," said Premier John Savage. "We're sharing the
financial risks, but more importantly, we're sharing the
financial rewards of global trade -- which we believe is critical
to the future prosperity of all Nova Scotians."
The effort to entice Italian companies to the province began
earlier this year and included a trip to Italy by Premier Savage
and Richie Mann, minister of Economic Development and Tourism.  
Their April mission helped sell businesses on Nova Scotia's
skilled workforce and competitive positioning, especially as a
gateway to the huge U.S. market.
"We see this not just as the start of a business deal, but the
beginning of a lasting friendship between two thriving regions,"
said Roberto Benigni, president of the province of Ascoli Piceno.
"We share values with the people here in Nova Scotia -- an
eagerness to do business, and a natural hospitality that's good
for doing business," added Vincenzo Pasquare, provincial
president of Le Marche, a region of 1.5 million that includes
Ascoli Piceno.
The three other agreements signed today are letters of intent
that will bring three companies to Nova Scotia to establish:
-a $51-million food-processing plant employing about 200.

-an $8.2-million industrial manufacturing plant employing about
50 in the first year, increasing to 70 by the third.

-a $2-million industrial manufacturing plant employing 30.
"And this is just the beginning," said Premier Savage. "At least
another eight Italian companies unable to make this trip will be 
arriving in Nova Scotia in a few weeks, and we believe they'll
find it as productive and worthwhile as this mission."
About 20 Italian businesspeople, mainly manufacturers from
central Italy, have spent the past week touring the Halifax,
Sydney and Yarmouth areas and meeting with regional development
authorities to discuss the advantages of doing business in Nova
Scotia. At home, the Italian manufacturers face escalating labour
costs, higher taxes and hefty transportation charges. While in
Nova Scotia, they welcomed the opportunity to examine how
operating within NAFTA can give them a competitive edge.

"Italian manufacturers can save roughly 50 per cent in costs by
producing goods in Nova Scotia instead of Italy," said Premier
Savage. "Nova Scotia's production costs are about 30 per cent
less than in Italy, and we pay no tariff on goods exported into
the U.S, resulting in savings of another 20 percent. Obviously,
the cost savings are a big attraction for the Italians."
The protocol established with Ascoli Piceno paves the way for
more collaborations between Nova Scotia and Italian firms. The 
agreement takes note of economic similarities between the two
provinces: among Ascoli Piceno's many enterprises are small
manufacturers and fishing and shipping ventures. The agreement
aims to build on them through, for example, information exchange
on industrial sectors and new ventures.
The two sides also agreed to examine the potential for
collaborating in other areas such as training projects and
cultural activities.
"Nova Scotians know that we have a lot to offer," said the
premier. "But now we're getting the word out so that foreign
companies are acting on that knowledge."
Contact: Linda Laffin
         Economic Development and Tourism

sab                      July 10, 1997    11:45 a.m.