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May 29, 2013
The Hon. Julian Fantino Announces new Canadian Consulate in Milan

MILAN, ITALY: The Hon. Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation and Member of Parliament for Vaughan, inaugurated a consulate in Milan, and announced the appointment of the new honourary Consul General Mr. Ezio Maria Simonelli, on May 23, 2013.

“There are many things to celebrate in the relationship between Canada and Italy,” said Minister Fantino. “Our number one priority is advancing the prosperity and well-being of our people, additionally we are on the right track to promote business partnerships, trade and investment connections.”

Minister Fantino made the announcement at the prestigious and historic Castello Sforzesco, during a reception hosted in partnership with Canadian Ambassador to Italy James Fox. This event provided an opportunity to introduce Canada’s new honourary consul to the Milanese and Northern Italian professional and senior-level contacts. The presence of this new consulate will ensure that key embassy partnerships are strengthened while laying the groundwork for new collaborations.

The event served a dual purpose in also promoting Canadian exports and industry. Canadian sponsors of the event present were Air Transat, Blackberry, Bombardier Recreational Products, Bombardier Transportation, Magma Energy and RBC Investor Services. Additionally, organizers of the event worked with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada to promote Canadian food products during the reception with Canadian bison meat, Montreal smoked meat, salmon, halibut, lobster, wild rice, maple syrup, ice-wine and Moosehead beer.

“Mr. Simonelli has had a distinguished career and will bring his extensive network, experience, knowledge and energy to his new role,” said Minister Fantino. “This renewed presence in Milan amplifies and enhances our ability to serve Canadian interests in Italy’s economic heartland.”

Minister Fantino also met with Giuliano Pisapia, Mayor of Milan at Palazzo Marino, Milan’s City Hall. The new consulate will deliver consular services across the area, namely Lombardi, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Veneto, Val-d’Aosta and Trento-Alto Adige. Almost 8,000 Canadians reside within the jurisdiction of the new consulate, and close to 57,000 visit the area every year.

During a roundtable, attended by the heads of the World Food Programme (WFP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Food and Agriculture Organizations Minister Fantino highlighted Canada’s commitment to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development in developing countries including through increasing the role of the private sector in agriculture, nutrition and food security.

“Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food is a priority of Canadian assistance to developing countries,” said Minister Fantino. “Canada urges international partners to seize opportunities and engage the private sector in improving food security for developing countries.”
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