The Smart Talk, organised by the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce on 23th March, focused on “Business Development Opportunities in Cyprus and in the Med Area. The Italian Trade Agency Perspective’.
Guest speaker was Claudio Pasqualucci, Director of the ICE (Italian Trade Agency) Office in Beirut, responsible for Lebanon, Cyprus and Syria, with experience in various countries including China and Mexico, who offered a different perspective on opportunities and interests in the Med Area.
After the customary opening with institutional greetings and thanks from the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Giuseppe Marino, the discussion got to the heart of the matter, led by Vice-President, Federico Franchina, with Dr. Pasqualucci’s description of the strategic role played by the Italian Trade Agency, creating a systematic approach of Italy abroad, together with institutions and business associations.
ITA is an agency, created in 1926, part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAE), which is responsible for supporting Italian companies, making them more competitive on the market, and encouraging foreign companies to invest in Italy.
The work of internationalisation and promotion, however, is the result of the related strategies and activities of the various Ministries, such as Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Tourism, Chambers of Commerce, Industry Associations, and all those actors that strengthen the supply chain for common interests.
The work of strengthening the Italian brand and its competitiveness abroad starts from within the companies, boosting the sectors of Digitalisation, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies; once prepared, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ITA place them on foreign markets.
Furthermore, great attention is paid to innovative startups by MIMIT (Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy), with which the ITA collaborates; and it is important to work together as a Country, using regional differences as a strength of the Italian identity. We need to strengthen the base of Italian companies in order to be competitive in an ever-changing scenario.
Another way for the MFA to convey Italian excellence is through the creation of the ‘Italian Weeks’, which consist of ‘integrated promotional activities’, in the sense that they involve companies, culture, territories, food, tourism, art, encompassing everything that is Italy. An example is the Italian Food Week, during which promotion is done, but also protection: trade missions, photographic exhibitions, artistic events, cooking classes are organised, providing an inclusive and exhaustive picture of Italian food culture, from seed to consumer, protecting know-how, territory, environment, traditions. These activities are distributed in different countries, according to need.
Another example is the Italian Design Day, an iconic industrial branch, which is found in several commercial sectors, including in the packaging of companies producing different goods. By promoting Italian design, we promote our care in the manufacture and durability of goods, combined with respect for society and the environment. In fact, this year’s theme was ‘Enlightening Quality. The energy of design for people and the environment’.
The main purpose of celebratory events is to involve consumers, companies, institutions and the media, to convey Sistema Italia at all levels.
As far as the strengths of trade relations between Italy and Cyprus are concerned, one of them is the fact that Cyprus is part of the European Union, which means that trade, investments, benefits, opportunities, funds are extremely facilitated.
Relations between the two countries, which date back many centuries, are growing steadily. Cyprus has a deep interest in Italy: traditional sectors remain constant, such as food, machinery, and design, but are joined by infrastructure, the digital economy, and insurance banking services. Although a small country, Cyprus has a strong base in infrastructure and digital.
One area that could be improved is that of flight connectivity between Italy and Cyprus, prompting investors to implement efforts to create direct connections between the two countries; tourism is another important area, which could be strengthened with initiatives by Italian tourism companies, because it is a sector that is definitely developing. The PNRR also provides business opportunities, with funds dedicated to infrastructure and the health system; digital services play a decisive role as a new way of connecting and doing business between companies.
Finally, the key to the future is based on the development of Renewable Energy, the production and use of which needs to be strengthened, and in this sense, Cyprus is a possible platform to invest and produce this new type of energy.
Therefore, the main key assets on which Italian companies can approach the Med Area are: the geographical position of Cyprus, which facilitates logistics; the EU membership, which promote trade; the strong digital infrastructure of Cyprus, which allows connections between companies, and the excellent preparation of the new generations in this sector.
Cyprus constitutes an important hub for Italian companies to implement their activities in the Med Area, maintaining the vision of a wide market full of opportunities.
In conclusion, it was said that the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, in order to further support the activities of the Italian System carried out by the ITA Office, will continue to focus on innovative sectors (Health System, Infrastructure, Energy) that are the basis for the growth of the local economy, helping companies to enter the market.
The President of the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Giuseppe Marino, closed the Smart Talk by confirming the Chamber’s commitment to work for the integration of Italian companies in the Mediterranean region, and in this sense, he recalled the following appointments: at the end of May, in Rome, the VI Business Forum; in October, in Cyprus, the IV Cyprus-Italy Health Forum; in November, in Limassol, the EMC (Eastern Mediterranean Conference & Exhibition).
For further insights on this article and other information on the activities of the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: April 18, 2023