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Studio Legale Padovan - First Edition of Trade Compliance Conference

Feb 21, 2024 – Milan, Italy

Facts and figures: 2 days | 30 speakers, institutions | businesses and experts | 450 companies | 1,000 participants in the room and in streaming | 1 objective: conscious import export

The STATI GENERALI INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMPLIANCE conference has just ended, the two days of testimonies, discussions and workshops on the most strategic issues and the most pressing challenges linked to the evolution of international trade, export control and international economic sanctions.

Skills and comparison to understand the "traffic rules"

Panels of global experts, specialized jurists, leading companies and high representatives of Italian, European and US authorities thrilled the audience in the theater and in streaming. A heterogeneous audience in terms of education and nationality, Americans, Israelis, Iranians, Turks, Europeans, demonstrating the desire to open up to dialogue and constructive discussion during a two-day, fast-paced event with 4 plenaries and 12 in-depth technical tables. 

A very rich confluence of skills and visions aimed at a common strategic objective: to offer and share reflections, prospective directions and concrete proposals on the most challenging issues of international trade of the 21st century, in favor of companies and operators in the system, in a geopolitical context that sees a world divided into islands – connected to each other by bridges, multilateral or bilateral – object of the systemic rivalry between the United States and China. Hence the urgency of understanding the " traffic rules " to manage international exchanges in full awareness, with intelligence and attention.


At the opening of the proceedings, Marco Padovan, creator of the Stati Generali International Trade Compliance Conference, outlined the common reference framework. “ The world has divided and we have moved from the globalization phase of the Pax Americana to a regionalization of values ​​(friendly shoring) where like-minded people come together to develop the strategic lines of international trade and protect highly valuable goods. technology. “Small yard high fence” at least for biotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum computers and semiconductors. Control on exports and direct investments as well as on investments abroad to prevent the technologies of the future from coming under the control of systemic rivals ”.

International cooperation

The director of UAMA, Minister Giorgio Aliberti, manager of the control of investments for anti-proliferative purposes and of authorizations for international arms trade for Italian companies, underlined how " The government control policy must be able to reconcile the need for security protection national and compliance with international legislation with the protection of the legitimate economic interests of companies. This is probably the greatest challenge that the authorities responsible for the implementation and application of controls have to face – declared Minister Aliberti – In this context, international cooperation is fundamental. Countries should share information and coordinate enforcement efforts, as happens in the EU, where there is common reference legislation, which is based on Regulation 2021/821. Establishing clear communication channels and promoting transparency can help build trust between nations, fostering a more robust global export control regime ."

China, the strategic adversary

Minister Aliberti has many strategic considerations regarding the evolution of the global geopolitical context and the related repercussions on the European and Italian export control system and on the issue of European economic security.“ From the US perspective, although Russia currently represents the main adversary, the true strategic antagonist remains China, whose economic, military and technological growth, together with its civil-military fusion program, are seen as the main threat to American national security – added the Minister – For some countries, including the USA, it is possible to unilaterally implement new controls at a national level – and this is what we are seeing, with reference to sectors such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing or additive manufacturing, which have been identified as particularly sensitive by the US Administration and included in several recent regulatory measures, many of which specifically target mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. This option, however, is more difficult to practice for EU Member States, whose system of control over dual assets is based on a common regulation, Reg. (EU) 2021/821, and a list of assets, Annex 1 of the same Regulation, which is a direct emanation of the decisions of the international control regimes ".

Risk mitigation

The EU priority clearly emerges to develop a solid strategic technological policy, which takes into account the high level of interconnection that exists between its own economy and that of the Asian giant and at the same time protects it from unwanted intrusions with a de-risking perspective rather than decoupling (de-coupling).

During the workshop “ Present and future in the West's relations with China ” moderated by Marco Zinzani , Co-head Trade Compliance Team – Studio Legale Padovan , the speakers underlined that China is a partner of European countries on issues of common global interest , but at the same time the true economic competitor and the most feared strategic rival. 

From this consideration, the key recommendation: the need for companies active in the Chinese market or that rely on supply chains in China, to adopt risk mitigation measures.

The USA-CHINA clash

“ The real clash is between the USA and China, a hegemonic power and an emerging power, like Athens and Sparta in 431 BC. The “Thucydides Trap” which predicts the inevitability of armed conflict in these cases. Sanctions and the protection of technologies are perhaps the key to defusing the trap together with diplomatic dialogue ” commented Marco Padovan .