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(AGI) - Houston (Texas), dec. 1 - The US State of Texas offers important opportunities to Italian companies. This was underlined by the Italian Ambassador in Washington, Claudio Bisogniero, during his visit in Houston in which he also met with Texas Governor Rick Perry.

"This visit to Houston of the Italian Ambassador a mere few months after the beginning of his assignment in Washington - Bisogniero remarked - is an indication that Italy wants to give more depth and more thrust to its presence in this important State. This is a region at the forefront in  economy, energy, technology, research, medicine and aerospace. Here there are enormous opportunities that I believe Italian companies and industries should pursue. We, the Embassy, the Consulate and the Chamber of Commerce, want to support in all possible ways a greater presence of Italian companies and industries in Texas".

In spite of the crisis, trade between Italy and Texas in 2011 was at 4,5 billion dollars. In the same year, Italian exports grew in the strategic sectors of energy, consumption goods and textiles of 62%, making Texas the third overall trading partner for Italy in the United States after New York and New Jersey. Among the Italian companies in Texas there are ENI, ENEL North America, Marazzi, Oakley, Saipem, Agusta Westland, Armani Exchange, Drillmec Valvitalia and Itex of the Farina Group. "My visit brought me to meet just yesterday Governor Rick Perry - Bisogniero said - with whom we discussed aspects related to a larger Italian economic and trading presence in Texas, with greater investments.
The Governor traveled to Italy in September and has an updated vision of our country. He declared himself fully available to enhance the Italian presence in Texas."

The Ambassador also met the Italian business community in Texas through the Chamber of Commerce. Yesterday he was at the University of Texas where he had a meeting on the cooperation that exists with Bocconi University in Italy, together with a significant group of Italian students.
"I was also able to have a long conversation with the experts that deal with start-ups - he said - and on how they can help these budding enterprises to grow. I believe that there are here great opportunities for Italian start-ups that can avail themselves of an entire set of instruments that have been put in place by the University of Texas".

Today the Ambassador spoke at the Conference of Italian Researchers in the World and will visit a number of Museums with a view to the initiatives that are being set up for the Year of Italian Culture in the United States 2013. Tomorrow Bisogniero will visit NASA, also in light of the celebrations that will be held in Washington in March for the 50 years of the agreement between NASA and ASI, the Italian Space Agency. Italy and the USA, Bisogniero added, are also working at a framework agreement on Space.