Italian hospitality took the front Stage yesterday at the farewell ceremony at the Italian Presidential Palace.
The departure of the Presidential Couple from their residence at Hotel Cavalieri Astoria at 10H45 yesterday 21 March, 2017, morning for Quirinale Palace signalled the beginning of the day’s activities. Fifteen minutes separated the Hotel and Presidency of Italy where Sergio Mattarella and Laura Mattarella received President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal Biya in the presence of a representative of the Italian government. The Secretary General of the Presidency of Italy and the Ambassador of Italy to Cameroon were also present. President Paul Biya and First Lady Chantal Biya were presented with an album, souvenir of the State visit before being led by their hosts to the Courtyard for the farewell ceremony. First Lady Chantal Biya and Laura Mattarella were accompanied to a separate location while the two Heads of State were placed to receive military honours, followed by national anthems. At the end of these republican exigencies, the Italian President and Laura Mattarella bid farewell to President Paul Biya and Chantal Biya who return to the Hotel Roma Cavalieri Astoria. The farewell ceremony at the Presidency of Italy symbolically ends the State visit to Italy, but the Cameroon Presidential Couple have another rich agenda stretching for a few more days.
The economic forum at the Confindustria opens today 22 March. President Paul Biya is expected to lead the Cameroon delegation of entrepreneurs to meet the President of Confindustria, Vicenzo Boccia and scores of Italian entrepreneurs. As the hub around which Cameroon-Italy relations revolve, economic development and opportunities of investment in Cameroon will take centre stage in discussions. In his two speeches in previous outings during this visit, President Paul Biya stressed the favourable investment climate in Cameroon and indentified available sectors attractive for Italian entrepreneurs. Wood, leather and the agro-industrial domains amongst others have been specifically proposed to the Italian business community. The details are expected to be on the table today at the economic forum. The agenda of President Paul Biya and First Lady Chantal Biya today is expected to include a visit to the Rome Tor Vergata University where sources predict honours and acclaim for Cameroon and its President, seen here as Africa’s greatest Statesman.