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Diplomazia Economica/Sole 24 Ore – Netherlands: Italy in the forefront at METS 2013

A total of 209 Italian firms participated in the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) held annually in Amsterdam, one of the most important of its type in the world; the trade shows of Genoa, Dusseldorf and Miami are more important for ship building. The 2013 edition welcomed 20,000 visitors and 1,300 displayers from 38 countries in 15 national pavilions that included those of Italy, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the USA. The Italian Pavilion made the largest showing of all foreign participants with 73 firms. The regions of Puglia and Umbria had group stands, while other firms chose to display individually.

Genoa had a large group (21) of participants, but also other participants were well represented (Viareggio, Naples, Lombardy).Significant also was the Puglia Region’s presence of 12 Nautical District firms, which launched a programme of collaboration with universities and regional research centres. A majority of the firms present were producers of high-end artisanal articles. From the data provided by UCINA, Italy is in first place for the construction of ships of less than 24 metres, and second (only to the USA) for ships larger than 24 metres. In addition to construction and assembly, Italian firms are strong in the production of ship components at all levels. Our major competitors after the USA include Germany, the Netherlands and to a somewhat lesser extent France. The Italian ship building sector has been hit hard by the financial downturn, with turnover of 6 billion euro in 2006 plummeting to 2.3 billion euro in 2011. As a consequence, Italian firms (SMEs in particular) have stepped up exports that, according to UCINA, to approximately 80%.(infoMercatiEsteri)

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