Italy would like to play leading role in reconstruction of Ukraine – Ambassador Zazo

Kyiv: Italian Ambassador to Ukraine Pier Francesco Zazo has said that the Italian Republic would like to play a key role in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“We have opened an office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and would like to play a leading role in the reconstruction of Ukraine. You may have heard that we have started our partnership with Odesa. In particular, in the field of cultural heritage, we strive to help you eliminate the damage caused to the cultural heritage in Odesa, including the Transfiguration Cathedral. We are ready to prepare master plans for it, because this is exactly the area where we have strong expertise,” the ambassador said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

He also added that a conference on the restoration of Ukraine will be held in Italy in 2025, recalling that in 2023 there was already a similar conference in Rome, which was attended by 700 Italian companies.

According to the diplomat, the business climate in Ukraine is improving, but the problem is a protracted war.

“In addition, it is important that in the past Ukraine was considered a dangerous place for investors due to the weakness of the judicial system and corruption. We see that the business climate is improving, but today the real problem is a protracted war. However, there is a huge potential in Ukraine,” Zazo said.

In addition, he expressed confidence that Italy can “do a lot to help Ukraine integrate into the European market very quickly.” However, he pointed out that Italy is “weak” in terms of investment.

“Italy has always had a very strong commercial presence, but it is weak in terms of investment volume. There are many reasons for this. In Italy, for example, there are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, and it is difficult for them to invest. We don’t have an economy based on big business,” he explained.

In addition, Zazo pointed out that the problem for business is insurance against the risks of war.

“It’s difficult. The potential interest is huge, but the companies have chosen a ‘wait-and-see’ position. They are waiting for the war to end. Therefore, I am sure that Italian companies will play a very important role in the future restoration of the Ukrainian economic system,” he said.