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Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Giorgio Silli, attends the opening of the 103rd edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo (Florence, 10 January 2023)

By proxy of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, Undersecretary of State Giorgio Silli participated today in the inauguration of the 103rd edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo, one of the major trade fairs dedicated to men’s fashion, which will be held until 13 January in Florence.

“I am delighted to speak at the inauguration of an event that plays an essential role in the promotion of Italian textile and clothing products both in our country and abroad”, said the Undersecretary in opening his speech.

“Textiles, clothing, and the whole Fashion sector play a strategic role in Italy’s economic and production system, making a fundamental contribution to its exports and image around the world”, stressed Mr. Silli.

“According to ISTAT data, exports of the Italian fashion system exceeded EUR 72 billion in 2021, accounting for approximately 14% of total exports, with a 21.7% increase compared to 2020”, said Undersecretary Silli, who added that the “data for the first six months of 2022 confirms this positive trend, with a total value of sectoral exports exceeding EUR 41 billion, up 23.3% compared to the same period last year”.

“With a global market share of 6.6%, Italy is the leading exporter in Europe in the sector and the second in the world”, pointed out Undersecretary Silli, highlighting that “overall, in 2019, Fashion employed more than 548,600 people, and total employment in the sector did not change significantly as a result of the pandemic”.

“The government intends to enhance these important Italian manufacturers by listening to and meeting the needs of businesses, understood as a set of businesspeople and workers”, said Mr. Silli, emphasising that “the Fashion sector, which has decisively shaped the manufacturing history and production system of Italy, deserves all our attention”.

In 2022, Italian fashion companies had to deal with the consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, including rising energy prices, which in turn drove up all production costs.

In this regard, Undersecretary Silli was keen to emphasise that “in 2022, interventions financed by Fund No. 394/81 were extended to support all Italian enterprises affected by the consequences of the disastrous Russian-Ukrainian conflict”.

Managed by SIMEST, the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group company that supports Italian companies in their internationalisation activities, Revolving Fund No. 394/81 is designed to grant subsidised loans for measures to modernise, digitalise, and sustainably transition production processes in companies operating in foreign markets.

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