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DARIO SIGGIA

THE ROLE OF SICILY IN THE MARITIME TRAFFIC OF AGRI-FOOD PRODUCTS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN BASIN

Abstract

This paper shows the results of a survey on trade flows to agri-food products among Sicily and the non-EU countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, through maritime transport. The aim of this paper is to outline the role that Sicily plays in respect of trade in agricultural products through the maritime mode considering its strategic location in the Mediterranean basin. Political reference scenario is that of the Union for the Mediterranean and EU Mediterranean Transport Policy (motorways of the sea). The work contains an analysis of the evolution of maritime trade in agri-food of Sicily, in the main ports of departure and arrival, with non-EU countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, estimated on the basis of data provided specifically by the Customs Agency of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. The relative geographical orientation index has allowed to estimate the geographic specialization of the island, compared to Italy, in the maritime trade of agri-food products with non-EU Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The results highlight how Sicily, thanks to its particular geographical position is one of the most specialized partner in the maritime trade with the other Mediterranean countries. These trades are gradually increased over the last decade, both in terms of absolute value and in relative terms, concerning the traffic of agri-food products. It is evident, therefore, as the creation of motorways of the sea linking Sicily with the coastal countries of the South and East of the Mediterranean could constitute an further factor of economic integration.