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Roberto Settembrini interview

Secretary General of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority – Port of Taranto

New challenges for the port

Roberto Settembrini, the new Secretary General, talks about his approach to the new challenges the port of Taranto must face.

I started in this new post as Secretary General of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority on the 1st of June.

My experience comes exclusively from the private sector, 32 years in the private enterprises: metalworking companies, two multinationals and then a large-scale distribution company.

So as well as perceiving it as an important opportunity to move from the private to the public sector, I also believe I can take advantage of this privilege at a special moment for the regional organisation in which technicians from the port authority and the municipality of Taranto are naturally working side by side.

I have found a great deal of awareness within this organisation to the concept of community, meaning by “community”, the perfect and consistent balance of both social and economic development.

A new entrepreneurial spirit in the last decade.

Since 2012 there has been a shift in the prevailing regional consciousness: all of a sudden it was realised that an entrepreneurial approach could find alternatives to the existing, predominantly single-industry, situation linked to steel, yet to the same extent, in the same way, it had come to determine, logically and logistically, the development of the port of Taranto.

This created a paradox, I think quite unique in the history of Italian ports, where the port authority became the driving force behind this diversification.

This initial phase of diversification was made possible by the very strong and extraordinary will of the President, but to achieve – I say – in just 4-5 years all the works that have been carried out within this port, nothing could have been done without the strong, inspiring professional and human impetus of all the colleagues who work in this organisation.

Serving the taxpayer

In the private sector, the first thing you develop is a sense of responsibility, especially when you’re in senior positions.

So the sense of responsibility and the sense of duty, in this organisation there was a third element that I discovered here, which is the spirit of service.

Well, you can only be of service if you see yourself as a supplier to a community.

I asked myself: “but who is my employer?”.

The State, the President, my colleagues, and I immediately felt this pressure and weight of responsibility when I identified my employer as the taxpayer.

As a Tarantine there is something more, which is highly significant: the possibility of doing what you love for whom you love.

Gratitude for the “visionaries”

The vision brought forward by forward-thinking planners in recent years within this organisation was not directly focused on attracting entrepreneur A, entrepreneur B, or entrepreneur C, but on creating one of the facilities that had an all-round capacity to meet any entrepreneurial need.

More recently, the President also signed the deed by which he regained absolute ownership of the Distripark, already renamed Ecopark.

What this means is that we are moving towards a port equipped with all the multi-functional, versatile facilities for attracting any type of entrepreneurial requirement that can create further development in intermodality, both in port and maritime logistics, but at the same time, it has also acquired a special type of available space that is quite unique, especially at national level.

All this must inevitably attract entrepreneurs who have a desire to settle in this area for growth and development.

My dream

My dream is that we can return to the San Cataldo quay of the early 20th century, which served the businesses of the time, which were mainly fishing activities but above all of an agricultural and agri-food nature.

This can absolutely be linked and combined, and so the Falanto terminal and the renovated San Cataldo quay can be that joining element, be the hinge between the city and the many future developments of entrepreneurial activities that consistently support the socio-cultural and economic growth of this entire community.

*** Automatically generated subtitles ***


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