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“ITALY FOR SPORT”, WHEN MADE IN ITALY EMBRACES SPORTING EVENTS
International sporting events provide important development opportunities, both for the host countries and for the professionals involved in staging them: the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade has therefore been working since 2007 on a specially devised project, “Italy for Sport”, which will be taken to Sochi, in Russia.
The occasion will be the Winter Olympics, from 7 to 23 February 2014, with the aim of providing Italian companies with occasions for meetings with the players involved in the organisation of international events and to promote Italian excellence in the wide range of services to sport, from the design and construction of facilities to hotel supplies and management systems. Participation in the Sochi Winter Olympics will involve workshops and international missions, but the Italian companies will also take part in specialised trade fairs and meetings with local entrepreneurs and buyers.
During a planning mission conducted in Russia, in April 2009, the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE), the Italian Banking Association (ABI) and Confindustria managed to obtain an agreement between ICE and the Sochi Chamber of Commerce for the opening of an Italy Desk: a meeting place with an information corner, an audiovisual library and a showroom to provide material on Italian companies in the various sectors connected with the sporting event.
The desk has already been operational since the end of 2009, with personnel working there on information dissemination and coordination between the Italian and Russian companies involved in the project. The audiovisual library currently provides catalogues, CD-ROMs and DVDs featuring the activities of about 50 Italian companies. The showroom, on the other hand, was designed for cyclical exhibitions of Italian products from various sectors and has become a venue for seminars and bilateral meetings. An exhibition covering the construction sector has been under way in the showroom since May 2010: it is an inter-regional project that currently involves Abruzzo, Lombardy, the Marche and Veneto, with a total of 37 exhibiting companies.
Italian operators from the exhibiting companies went to Sochi for meetings with local operators in two different sessions in October. The next step will be the meeting with the Russian operators in Italy, scheduled for late November-early December. The inter-regional project will continue from the end of November in the same manner (an exhibition of the best Italian-made products, a series of bilateral meetings between Italian and Russian entrepreneurs in Sochi, and meetings with industry operators in Italy) for the promotion of hotel equipment and supplies – known as Horeca - and of hotel design and furnishing – known as contract. The opening of the hotel sector exhibition, which involves the participation of 18 exhibiting companies, is scheduled for the end of November.