In the face of a serious economic crisis for Tuscany and Italy, President Martini and Ambassador Sembler met last week to discuss Tuscan – U.S. relations and the numbers of American visitors to the Tuscany region.
In Florence alone, universities host six thousand students each year. The total number of tourists visiting Italy reaches an incredibly high total of 6 million visitors per year.
But, the main discussion revolved around the growing crisis among local production industries in fabric, gold and other high quality items. ‘Made in Tuscany’ products have had a hard time surpassing the difficulties of a continued negative Euro-Dollar exchange rate and increasing competition from cheaper, mass produced goods.
Another important topic was Martini’s request for a collaboration to convince more American businesses to bring their companies to Tuscany. Martini noted that the companies that have chosen to open in Tuscany, like General Electric and Eli Lilly, have been satisfied with the elevated level of training of personnel as well as the high quality of living.
Ambassador Sembler, who was also accompanied by the Consul General of Florence, William McIlhenny, agreed to continue working on improving relations with the United States in all of the discussed sectors. Sembler commented that a reduction in bureaucracy would help this process along. He also complimented Martini’s high percentage of votes that he received in recent regional elections.