(AGI) Cape Town, Oct 2 - The first South Africa-Italy Summitopened on Thursday, Oct. 2, with the aim of strengtheningstrategic relationships. The event, held at the Belmond MountNelson Hotel in Cape Town, was organised by the Italian embassyin South Africa, the South African embassy in Italy, EXPO 2015and the Black Business Council, and continues on Friday. It isattended by Italian and South African political and businessleaders, who are discussing ways to boost the economy of bothcountries and expand in Sub-Saharan markets. South Africa, witha gross domestic product of nearly 300 billion euros, is themost important Sub-Saharan economy. It attracts the mostinternational investment in Africa thanks to its developedinfrastructure and financial market. Italy has a long traditionof political and cultural relations with South Africa. Tradebetween the countries is growing steadily, with exports toSouth Africa rising more than 40 percent since 2010. Last yearItaly had a trade surplus of more than 350 million euros, forthe first time in a decade. Working papers drafted by TheEuropean House-Ambrosetti with an international think tank willbe presented at the summit. The members of the Advisory Boardinclude: Alec Erwin (South African former minister of industryand trade), Maurizio Mariano (lawyer, founder and director ofthe BBM law firm), Ignazio Moncada (president of Fata Group),Tseke Nkadimeng (CEO of Afric Oil), Ndaba Ntsele (executivechairman and co-founder of Pamodzi Group), Andrea Riccardi(Italian former international cooperation minister and founderof the Community of Sant'Egidio), Vincenzo Schioppa (Italianambassador in Pretoria, South Africa), Iqbal Surve' (founderand president of Sekunjalo Group) and Nomatemba Tambo (SouthAfrica's ambassador to Italy). (AGI).