During 2018, inititatives to develop relations with international institutions and bodies, in the interest of the Group and its stakeholders were promoted with the broader aim of supporting growth and stability of the national system as a whole. In this context, advocacy activities on regulatory issues of international relevance were implemented, together with the monitoring of the main economic and geopolitical events and the concrete support to the internationalisation process of small, medium and large enterprises.
Within the scope of the most important international initiatives which benefited from the participation and support of Intesa Sanpaolo, worthy of note were the proceedings of ROME 2018 – MED Mediterranean Dialogues – Beyond Turmoil, a Positive Agenda, an event organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by ISPI, under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic.
The program of the 2018 edition was structured in sessions, dialogues and policy forums over three days, and was based on four key thematic pillars: Shared Prosperity, Shared Security, Migration and Civil Society and Culture. The debates on these topics were oriented towards analysis of the challenges and ideas for relaunching economic interaction, promoting greater regional cooperation and ensuring that adequate incentives for sustainable development are set in motion.
Among the key themes of the three days of debate - with a view to building a positive agenda that returns to restore centrality to the region in an international scenario in constant change - the new equilibrium in the area has been registered, the safety strategies, the new strategies for the management of migratory flows, energy, international trade in the area. During MED 2018, a specific focus has been dedicated also to women's socio-economic empowerment and the role of women in peace and security.
In order to ensure reliability and security to customers and stakeholders, as well as to maintain solid growth in its international credibility, Intesa Sanpaolo has been following developments which, in both the short and long term, have led to and may bring about change in international geopolitical equilibria.
The monitoring of international geopolitics was carried out during 2018 through meetings and conferences organized and held with the main international think-tanks with whom the Group cooperates: Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Centre for European Policy Studies, The Brookings Institutions, Peterson Institute of International Economics.The monitoring of international geopolitics was also carried out during 2017 At the same time, the monitoring of international geopolitics was also implemented through constant contacts with the Representatives of foreign countries of interest to the Group. Particular attention in this area was dedicated to the evolution of financial restrictive measures ("trade sanctions"), whose timely update is necessary for the Group to proactively plan responsible international activities and presence.
During 2018, Intesa Sanpaolo supported activities aimed at developing Africa’s potential and at facilitating the international development of European and African companies attentive to social and environmental impact, by joining the E4Impact Foundation as a Corporate Participant. E4impact is an initiative launched by ALTIS – Graduate School of Business and Society of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, with the objective of training impact entrepreneurs in the developing world in order to support the start-up and growth of their businesses. The work of the Foundation contributes to the accomplishment of many of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Goals, including access to quality education, decent work, economic growth and poverty and hunger reduction. To achieve its goal the Foundation, in collaboration with Università Cattolica and a local university from the host African country, offers the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, a unique executive program that guides active and aspiring entrepreneurs to start or scale their businesses, providing them simultaneously with an academic and business acceleration experience. The first MBA started in Kenya in 2010. Since then E4Impact has expanded to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ethiopia and Sudan with over 700 entrepreneurs trained. In 2019 the program will also reach Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Joining the E4Impact Foundation initiative reflects Intesa Sanpaolo’s dual purpose of both supporting a praiseworthy initiative and promoting opportunities for Italian Enterprises in Africa.