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Yesterday in Reggio Calabria – The Roadshow with Secretary General Valensise

Foreign markets are no longer only an opportunity, for many small firms they have become a necessity if they want to avoid wasting the potential for growth offered by niche products. But good ideas and strong desires are not enough to make it onto international markets; hence the idea to invert the traditional relationship between periphery (businesses) and centre (government) by bringing into play all the instruments available today to encourage and support internationalisation. Yesterday morning, the “Italy for SMEs on Foreign Markets” roadshow came to Reggio Calabria’s “Nicola Calipari” auditorium, where 152 businesspersons from 128 firms in that province were able to take a first-hand look at the opportunities available, thanks not least to a session of one-on-one meetings with the experts. A team effort that involved the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development, Simest, the ltalian Trade Agency and Sace. The Reggio Calabria meeting (the 2015 roadshow made 271 stops and 2016’s already has 19 events planned) followed close upon that of Cosenza, which speaks volumes in terms of consideration for the Calabrian small business community. Ambassador Michele Valensise, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who is originally from Reggio, was also on hand for the event.

“Italy for SMEs on Foreign Markets”

“I am here today to underscore how firmly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic network stand behind Calabrian businesses seeking to enter foreign markets, within the broader framework of the Italian government’s commitment to promoting the internationalisation of our productive system”, Ambassador Valensise said. “Indeed, we are convinced that one of a company’s main growth factors lies in its ability to access foreign markets that offer good development opportunities. We are well aware, thanks to a successful team effort, that we have a considerable wealth of knowledge at our disposal”.

This too is what we call economic diplomacy

“The Ministry is deeply interested in these efforts, which have been given new impetus, particularly under the guidance of Minister Gentiloni. We are out there to make sure that that wealth of knowledge is put to the best use, along with those signs of interest in Italy that our more than 200-strong diplomatic network of embassies, consulates, trade offices and chambers of commerce continues to register…”

A network 200-strong across the globe

“…and to make sure that that Italy remains the highly appreciated and attractive brand it is abroad – in fact, maybe we should be giving it a bit more consideration within our own borders as well”.

The Calabrian agro-alimentary sector (accounting for nearly 35% of regional exports in 2014) is increasingly interested in going international, but the region’s over 138,000 farms are still very small and in need of institutional support.

That is why this initiative exists. It is no accident that 46% of the companies represented in today’s audience operate in the agro-alimentary sector. The province of Reggio Calabria potentially has the best conditions for making the bergamot orange the symbol itself of a Calabria that exports, of a Calabrian sector set to flourish in an international dimension”.

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