Italy and Saudi Arabia are in talks about a potential Saudi investment in Rome’s new strategic fund, Italy’s Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said, as the two signed a deal to forge closer economic relations, particularly in energy. The “Made in Italy” fund, which was approved in May, will have an initial endowment of 700 million euros ($756 million) in 2023 and an additional 300 million next year in state cash.
Sources have previously told Reuters that Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is courting sovereign wealth funds to increase the fund’s firepower. The scheme would support Italian companies operating in key supply chains, while also aiming to boost procurement and reuse of “critical raw materials”. The fund would help support Italian manufacturing and make the country less reliant on external suppliers, but Meloni’s coalition government is battling to contain a budget deficit.—Zawya