Italy wants a trade and industrial presence in the "strategic" Balkans region and is organising business forums in Serbia and Kosovo to help companies seeking to invest there, according to foreign minister Antonio Tajani.
"The Balkans want an Italian presence, from a trade and an industrial point of view", Tajani told the 'Italy and the Western Balkans: growth and integration' conference in Trieste on Tuesday.
"I strongly believe in economic diplomacy: we are planning two business forums with our ambassadors in Serbia and Kosovo and will guide Italian companies in making investments and organize joint ventures," Tajani stated.
Balkans countries want the "know-how" offered by Italy - which has four million small-and-medium-sized companies - skills that the region needs to fulfil its potential for economic growth, Tajani said.
"We want to play the role that we should, bringing peace and stability to the entire (Balkans) region and creating new opportunities for growth - also for our firms," Tajani tweeted from Trieste.
"Italy is back in a leading role," the tweet added.