Fulvio Di Blasio interview
Transition, innovation and tax breaks.
Transition, innovation and tax breaks.
I’m from Vigevano, so I was born in Lombardy, and the funny thing is that I was born in an area where there are no ports, so the only water there is in the form of rivers and rice fields.
And after a professional career in the world of strategic consulting, I worked for the Minister’s office on the national strategy for ports and logistics, which then became law.
And then at a certain point I was called to switch to the other side of the fence.
It was a fantastic opportunity, but I also had a great desire and need to make all those policies to which I had contributed a little more substantial.
The role of the Secretary General
The role of the Secretary General is, if you like, a role like that of a CEO.
So he is the one who organises, plans and manages all the work aimed at implementing the strategy identified by the top management, which is represented by the President of the System Authority.
We do not produce pipelines or pipes, but we do provide services and therefore the human element is fundamental.
The potential of the port of Taranto
Taranto has an infrastructural endowment and one of the largest ports, it is very well positioned from the point of view of intermodality,
i.e. connections with roads, railways and airports.
It is located in an urban area that does not interfere with the city, and this is the basis.
Then you have to consider what elements investors consider in order to choose locations, and in this the legislation has given us a hand.
In the sense that they’ve recently set up Special Economic Zones precisely to enhance the port hubs.
The Ionian Interregional Zone
In our case, it’s called the Ionian Interregional Zone and involves the port system authorities of the Puglia and Basilicata regions.
And the advantage is that it is easier to invest in these areas, because there are measures such as the tax credit, up to 50 million euros, in which they’ve cut the time taken for authorisations to be issued by the public administrations and in which there are significant tax exemptions on the part of the region.
The Customs Free Zone
Within the Port Authority, we have added another element, the Customs Free Zone, which is very important for those involved in non-EU trade, and who can benefit from the fact that they work here under a suspended tax and VAT regime.
At the moment, we are certainly registering a growing interest in these five logistic centres on which the SEZ is based, which are the areas of Taranto, Grottaglie, Ferrandina, Melfi and Gualdo di Lauria.
With regard to the port, we have registered an interest in locating it in those logistics areas that are not only in the Special Economic Zone, but in the Customs Free Zone.
We have set up some in the polysectoral quay, for example, which is an infrastructure that has recently been refurbished and has therefore reopened the commercial component of the port of Taranto, which has joined the industrial and cruise sectors.
One of the most interesting areas is that of energy efficiency and the production of energy from renewable sources, and I must say that since the creation of the SEZ this has become an element of particular interest for the market.
Digital transition, energy and environmental sustainability
The port of Taranto is heading to being a digital port, which means digital transition, energy transition and environmental sustainability.
And with regard to digital, it is an experience that we have launched mainly via the Port Authority, so all the methods for requesting authorisations and applications will be – and already are – through a One Stop Administrative Shop that we have established with the view to maximise openness.
Energy transition: we are working hard on the implementation of our energy and environmental planning document.
The two main pillars are the energy efficiency of the Port Authority and of all the buildings located within the Port Authority, but also the creation of an energy community, above all by developing an area that we have called the Taranto Ecopark, where we want to see the establishment of both storage and renewable energy production activities, also connected to the theme of green mobility and thus the creation of services that benefit the urban area with the overall theme of the urban distribution of goods and also in general of electric vehicles that can also be used by citizens.
In the digitisation process there is also a strong component of environmental monitoring, which is a highly critical but strategic issue for ports, and indeed for this city in particular.
Innovation and start-ups
Another element that I am pleased to mention is the theme of innovation.
We have involved start-ups that immediately made the various stakeholders realise the added value of shortening the chain between supply and demand in a more flexible way.
And we have also done this, for example, in the cruise sector, where there is a major relaunch of the port of Taranto.
Also in this case, in the course of creating the Taranto destination, we have introduced a form of dialogue with the start-ups and are asking the region to create, to imagine solutions, in this case linked to hospitality, that are in step with the times, with security, with Covid, with the needs of shipping companies.
So the role of the System Authority is increasingly one of promoting and integrating policies, and more and more the argument comes out that the port in itself does not exist.
There is no port, there is an ecosystem, there is an integrated network.
I would like an investor, a family, a director to want to come to the port of Taranto because… because the work is good, because things work, because you know that you will be rewarded if you bring innovation, if you bring sustainability, if you reduce emissions.
You know that, in the case of families, you can walk along the waterfront and come straight into the parts of the Port Authority that are open to the citizen and also find elements of knowledge there: understanding what this port is, but who works in the port, but what a container means, what moving goods means.
Trying to work on this port lexicon, which is unfamiliar, is to make it become common heritage.
*** Automatically generated subtitles ***