Domenico De Rosa, CEO of the SMET Group:
“This is a strongly negative economic indicator for the whole country, urgent measures are needed to foster recovery”
Freight traffic in the ports of Naples and Salerno is still slowing down, falling by 3.8% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
Highlighting this further decline is the Statistical Bulletin recently published by the Port System Authority of the Central Tyrrhenian Sea, which provides all the details on the individual ports and the various maritime transport segments. In particular, in Salerno in the first six months of 2023 a total of 6.519.665 tonnes of goods were handled, a drop of 5,7% compared to the previous year. Even more critical is the scenario of ro-ro transport, which is the vocation of Campania’s second largest port: 111.244 ro-ro units, down 8,3% compared to the first six months of 2022.
“We do not hide our concern about this significant downturn, which in our view represents a strongly negative economic indicator not only for Southern Italy but also for the country as a whole,” commented Domenico De Rosa, CEO of the SMET Group – This is in fact yet another abrupt setback, which in the final analysis we must attribute to the ECB’s excessive focus on the return of inflation to 2% and a monetary policy of continually raising interest rates, which has taken resources away from business investment and the purchasing power of private citizens, seriously damaging the real economy. Urgent measures are needed to foster recovery”.
“As we regularly operate in the Salerno hinterland and other southern Italian ports, we are also concerned about the new ZES regulations, which create a Single Special Economic Zone for the whole of southern Italy and establish a special tax credit from which, however, strategic production sectors, including transport, are excluded,” De Rosa continued. “We trust in appropriate changes that can attract investments linked to international trade flows.
And he concluded: ‘We hope that the ECB will not raise interest rates above the 4% touched with the last tightening a few days ago, and that a first cut can take place as early as April 2024. But what is certain is that the energy crisis has contributed decisively to the rise in inflation. The very rise in oil, which is currently close to USD 100 per barrel, risks inflaming inflation again, just when a radical change in the monetary policy pursued by Europe is urgently needed’.