Sai – Secretaria Executiva de Articulação Internacionais

Italy seeks partnerships and commercial opportunities with Santa Catarina

The Italian ambassador to Brazil, Alessandro Cortese, and his delegation were in Florianópolis this Tuesday (5). In the State Government, he met with the secretaries Juliano Froehner (Foreign Affairs), Cleverson Siewert (Treasury), Silvio Dreveck (SICOS), Evandro Neiva (Tourism) and deputy secretary Patricia Lueders (Education). He visited Fiesc , UFSC and was received by the president of Alesc, deputy Mauro de Nadal, and by the mayor of Florianópolis, Topázio Neto.

The main goal of the visits was to strengthen relations with the State, opening new opportunities for partnerships and commercial agreements. Were also present at the meetings the Ambassador Elissavet Macri; the head of the Embassy’s Consular Chancellery, Andrea Desogus ; the consul general of Italy in Curitiba, Eugenia Berti; the honorary consul of Italy in Florianópolis, Attílio Colitti ; the president of the Italian-Brazilian Circle of SC, Alessandra Carioni ; and the coordinator of the Trentino circles of SC and PR, Andrey Fraga.

According to the ambassador, who has been in Brazil for just two months, the state of Santa Catarina is rich in its diversity and has an important concentration of Italian-Brazilians and immigrants, with the percentage of Italians and descendants in the state being higher than that of São Paulo. “There is the possibility of strengthening these relationships, with great investment potential. Italy is an important investor in Brazil. In the last 3 years, total investments in the country were 30 billion euros and we have room for improvement. Furthermore, we have to celebrate 250 years of Italian immigration to Brazil, which can be used as a hook to boost negotiations”, highlighted Cortese, who committed to working to strengthen ties with Santa Catarina.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SAI), Juliano Froehner, stated that the State Government confirms this commitment to expanding the relationship with Italy. “We have historical, cultural and economic involvement. There are many companies with Italian capital here in Santa Catarina, as well as SC investments in Italy. And much more than that: we now have a great desire, which is Governor Jorginho Mello’s vision, to look forward. How this relationship will generate technology, partnerships, research, cultural, educational, social and economic involvement. Hence the importance of the ambassador’s visit to the State, within a process that begins now. We have several projects underway and are in the preparatory phase to welcome the Italian Consulate here in Florianópolis, in 2024. All this to bring us closer together and generate a vision of the future for international relations.”

In Tourism, the secretary of Setur, Evandro Neiva, said that this important synergy in colonization, gastronomy, and life style of many municipalities and regions in Santa Catarina is essential for strengthening this bilateral relationship. “This visit is important for us to update the ambassador on how the municipalities colonized by Italians are doing, how Santa Catarina can receive tourists today, and also take Santa Catarina residents to Italy. It’s a very cool exchange, and Santa Catarina has been working steadily on creating direct air alternatives and is prepared for international tourism.”

For the Secretary of State for Finance (SEF), Cleverson Siewert, it is with the same loyalty and transparency towards society that the Government of Santa Catarina builds bridges and partnerships with other States and Countries, such as Italy. “Governor Jorginho Mello thinks differently, he thinks about Santa Catarina for the next 20 years. The State Government is open to strengthening these relationships and supporting new businesses that are coming.”

According to the Secretary of Industry, Commerce and Services (SICOS), Silvio Dreveck, the State’s rapprochement with Italy is beneficial for prospecting new businesses and future partnerships, both in the areas of education and technology. “This visit by the delegation shows that working together will connect companies and boost our economy, whether in exports or imports. Santa Catarina holds the title of largest exporter of vessels in the country and Italy is one of our main markets. We are open to commercial exchanges, whether in industry or even in agribusiness.”

“It is with great joy that we welcome the ambassador. Today, we already have schools with Italian as a second language. Expanding this repertoire, expanding this culture is fundamental, and education is the way”, reinforced the Deputy Secretary of Education (SED), Patricia Lueders .


At the Federation of Industries of Santa Catarina, the ambassador and delegation participated in the “Commercial Opportunities between Santa Catarina and Italy” event. The objective of the meeting was to strengthen bilateral relations and identify commercial opportunities between the two regions. “Santa Catarina is proud of a historic and solid relationship with Italy, which dates back to the first immigrants who settled here, contributing significantly to the economic and cultural development of our state”, said businessman André Armin Odebrecht, vice-president of Fiesc for the Alto Vale do Itajaí region and who represented the president, Mario Cezar de Aguiar.

“Today, this legacy endures, and we see Italy’s presence not only in our traditions, but also in Santa Catarina’s business and economy. Many of our industries were created by Italian immigrants or their descendants”, added Odebrecht, who cited the companies Marcegalia and Zuchetti as examples of recent Italian investments in the state. The vice-president of Fiesc also highlighted the entity’s commitment to the internationalization of Santa Catarina’s industry and the promotion of foreign trade.


At the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), the ambassador was received by the rector, Irineu Manoel de Souza, at the meeting, which discussed topics related to the teaching of Italian and possible partnerships with the institution. The ambassador highlighted the importance of teaching Italian at UFSC for spreading the Italian language. Rector Irineu Manoel de Souza highlighted the possibility of expanding manners for teaching the Italian language, through agreements and exchanges. According to him, the university already has agreements with 32 Italian Universities, various teaching modalities for the internal and external community.

Photo: Marco Favero /Secom