On 3 September, at Shougang Park in Beijing, the opening ceremony was held of the “World Winter Sports Expo”, the most important trade fair in China and Asia dedicated to mountain technologies and products. Italy is taking part in the event as Guest of Honour Country, by virtue of its ancient Alpine tradition and the extraordinary technological and innovation capabilities of Italian companies in the sector, but also in light of the handover between the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
In spite of the limitations due to the pandemic, 20 Italian companies are present at the event, together with ENIT and the Veneto Region, in a pavilion made available free of charge by Agenzia ICE, with the organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Embassy in China, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China, ENIT and Assosport.
The opening ceremony, attended by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Italian Embassy, Min. Cons. Emanuele di Lorenzo Badia, was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Manlio Di Stefano. The representative of the Italian Government stressed that “the qualified presence of Italian companies at the WWSE has been made possible thanks to the efforts and commitment of Italy’s Pact for Export, as well as the hard work put in by the Embassy – led by Ambassador Ferrari, whom I would like to thank – and the whole Italian System. It is no coincidence that trade with China is growing strongly. In the first half of 2021, our exports grew considerably, up by 48.3% year over year, a trend that is also growing in comparison with the pre-pandemic period (+20%). Important growth rates are also recorded in the winter sports equipment sector, where Italy maintains the fourth position in the world for supplies to China. Today’s event,” Deputy Minister Di Stefano added, “is an important step towards the Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2022 and the handover between the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Milan-Cortina Olympics.