Will Campania have better ports? De Luca believes in it and allocates 100 million

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Vincenzo De Luca (right) president of Campania Region, and Gennaro Amato (left), president of Afina, at NauticSud 2024
Vincenzo De Luca (right) president of Campania Region, and Gennaro Amato (left), president of Afina, at NauticSud 2024

Campania Regional President Vincenzo De Luca has announced that he will invest 100 million euros of regional funds to improve port infrastructure. The statement, made at Nauticsud in Naples during the conference organized by Afina (Nautical Supply Chain Association), attracted much interest and attention in the industry, and it is not the first time that local institutions have taken a strong stance on investment in the boating sector. Last November, in fact, Naples’ first citizen Gaetano Manfredi pledged-during the Neapolitan show Navigare-to invest in the expansion of the existing Mergellina port facility.

Development and Cohesion Fund will be spent – in part – on boating

The planned investment represents a significant-and crucial-step toward enhancing port infrastructure and services for recreational boating in Campania, a region with a strong maritime tradition and growing demand in the sector. These funds could be crucial in addressing infrastructure challenges and improving the accessibility and quality of services offered to boaters, a weakness of the Italian boating industry as a whole, between the absence of facilities, outdated facilities and services that are not always available.

However, despite the importance of this investment, the question of the actual availability of funds arises. The government has so far procrastinated on releasing regional funding (the 6 billion euros in the Campania Region’s Development and Cohesion Plan, plus the 1.3 billion provided for complementary programming), making the future of projects of this magnitude uncertain. The need for investment in port infrastructure is clear and urgent, but slow implementation of funding could slow the start of work and jeopardize growth opportunities in the sector. In fact, the situation in Campania is particularly complex from an infrastructural point of view, as far as the recreational sector is concerned.

The commitment made by institutions

President De Luca was, however, optimistic about the possibility of involving all interested parties, including political forces, private businesses, lending institutions and other key players, to work together toward common goals. This collaborative approach could help overcome challenges and promote the development of the nautical sector in Campania. Also optimistic on this point was the Afina president Gennaro Amato, who announced an upcoming meeting scheduled for March with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

The economic and social importance of the Italian shipbuilding and related recreational boating industry cannot be underestimated. These sectors not only generate employment and economic wealth, but also contribute to the well-being and quality of life of coastal communities. Therefore, it is essential to ensure adequate investment in port infrastructure and support the continued development of the sector in order to maximize its potential for long-term growth and prosperity.

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