On 1 December, the Minister for the South and Territorial Cohesion Giuseppe Provenzano met in a web conference the leaders of Confindustria of Catania and Syracuse, of Sicindustria and of the provincial and regional small industry, to discuss the recovery plan of the Sicilian industrial economy . The unitary proposal is characterized by some salient points:

“Compensatory taxation for the South. Unblocking of the Special Economic Zones (Zes). Investments for infrastructure development. Measures for innovation. Incentives for employment and productive investments in the South. Energy transition within the framework of the Green New Deal ”.

The Sicilian entrepreneurial fabric – affirm the president of Confindustria Catania, Antonello Biriaco, the vicar vice president of Sicindustria, Alessandro Albanese, and the president of Confindustria Syracuse, Diego Bivona, is experiencing a phase of crisis that for many small and medium-sized enterprises point of no return. In Sicily, the lockdown blocked 58% of production activities. In the second quarter of 2020, € 6 billion and 76,000 jobs went up in smoke. It is necessary to act immediately and not only to guarantee the survival of businesses with immediate relief but to give a change to territorial cohesion policies. In certain times and with defined objectives, the social and economic rift that separates North and South must be mended and the Sicilian economy must be allowed to jump forward. Compensatory taxation, infrastructural investments, launch of special economic zones and incentives aimed at the recovery of productive investments are the pillars of a possible restart of Sicily ”.

The Southern tax relief is a solution that gives oxygen to businesses and employment by providing for the exemption from the payment of social security contributions to be paid by the employers of the South, equal to 30%, introduced by the “August decree”.

Recovery Fund, essential for connecting Sicily to Europe through the Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor, strengthening the development of logistics, port infrastructures and land transport. The Sicilian ports, in particular, otherwise risk being cut off from the new trade routes because they are not adequate to European standards and not connected to an organic intermodal system.

Advantageous taxation and bureaucratic simplification are the two pillars of the strategy of attracting investments in the Special Economic Zones (Eastern and Western Sicily), within the port economy. Still stuck at the starting line due to the lack of implementation of the operational phase to access the benefits intended for investments.

Further advantages would derive from the inclusion in the 2021 budget maneuver of the extension of the tax credit for investments in capital goods until 2022 with an annual allocation of one billion euros and the renewal of the tax credit for research and development.

Furthermore, the 2021 budget law provides for the allocation of 50 million euros per year in 2021-2023 for the establishment of innovation ecosystems in the southern regions, to encourage collaboration between companies and the research system and promote technology transfer. This measure is fully part of the Community objectives and represents the “glue” to consolidate, from a supply chain perspective, the technological transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises

Valeria Barbagallo

Source Confindustria Catania

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