On the 18th and 19th of June the 2009 International Banking Forum was held in Brescia; an event at its fourth edition and which every two years gathers the main foreign correspondent banks with the goal to foster commercial relations between our Group and the international financial world. In this last edition 70 banks, over 100 people of which 20 speakers have testified the success of an initiative that has been consolidated in time.
Although the spirit of the Forum is mainly to develop collaboration with our international financing partners, this year we deemed it appropriate to respond to a need which is evermore present among the banking world, and consequently the participants, with an event focusing on the bank as a positive force, and not a "toxic activity"; an entity actively involved in the long term economic and social life of a Country and not a speculator looking to maximize short-term profit .
Among the speakers we had the honor of hosting Professor Laura Viganò and Professor Mario Masini, respectively Dean and ordinary professor of Bergamo University, Mr. Giovanni Majnoni, Executive Director for Italy, Albania, Greece, Portugal at the World Bank and Friedhelm Boschert, Chairman at Volksbank International. Other qualified contributions came from Banks operating in South America, Russia, Africa, India, Far East and from operators specialized in credit for development of enterprises and microfinance, respectively our Centrobanca and Microventures SpA.
The workshops offered insight on themes such as the migrant phenomenon of foreigners, renewable energy, and the connected investments in technological innovations, the dynamism of the micro-entrepreneurial substructure in agribusiness and micro finance: "opportunities" which only recently the banking sector has started to consider worthy of specific initiatives. Both speakers and participants became involved in discussing projects, products and innovative strategies which not only in emerging markets, but in developed ones as well, can be usefully implemented to increase the efficiency of the bank on the market.