Italy’s far-right government has put forward the draft bill ‘Made in Italy’ to set up a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) with €1bn in capital.

The fund, called Fondo Strategico Nazionale del Made in Italy (National Strategic Fund for the Made in Italy), aims to support growth of national strategic supply chains, and the procurement of critical raw materials, the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy said in statement.

The SWF is open to public and private funds, both in Italy and internationally, to first-pillar Casse di Previdenza, pension funds, foundations and other players to channel investments in strategic sectors in Italy, Adolfo Urso, minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy said, speaking at a conference in Milan, financial news agency Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor reported.

The funds will amount to €700m this year and a further €300m in 2024, on top of private investments amounting to at least 50% of the initial amount of capital injected in the fund, according to the latest draft of the bill, news agency ANSA reported.

According to previous reports, the new SWF could also receive capital from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the partly state-owned investment bank.

The fund will invest directly or indirectly in companies with registered offices in Italy, with the exception of the banking, financial and insurance sectors, funding the procurement and reuse of critical raw materials, according to ANSA’s report.

The government intends to support supply chains for the production of wood furniture, and in the textile, nautical, ceramic and goldsmith products industries, with €10m earmarked to support self-entrepreneurship initiatives, and women starting new businesses, it said.

The draft bill ‘Made in Italy’ put forward by the government and already mentioned in the budget law for 2023, will be fast-tracked in parliament, as reported.

Urso has travelled to Washington to illustrate the potential of the Italian SWF to the financial and business community in the US and Italians residing or operating overseas, the ministry stated.

The minister had also spoken about the “absolute necessity” of establishing a European SWF to supply critical raw materials, a request made by the EU Commission to member states, and to provide crucial financial resources to companies and member states to achieve ambitious goals.

The Italian SWF is a first step in this direction, coupled with the SWF set up in France, but it is necessary that the European Union acts to create a common SWF with significant funds to guarantee the strategic independence of the European continent in energy supply and production of raw materials, Urso added.

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