Milan, Oct 12

Italy is a nation focussed on the Arab world, its Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said here on Thursday.

"We are a country that looks to the Arab world," he said at the 'Italian Arab Business Forum'.

"They have put a hyphen in my surname and turned it into an Arab one - Al-Fano - but I am not offended," Alfano quipped.

"I come from a Sicily, where the Arab presence was important."
There are 500 million consumers in the Mediterranean region, who generate 10 percent of the world's gross domestic product, 30 percent of its oil and 20 percent of shipping, Alfano noted.

"The Expo 2020 world trade fair and other initiatives can provide a bridge to the future."

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