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Italian trade fairs team up with American Chamber of Commerce

by Emanuele Scarci

The €60 billion Italian trade fair system is increasingly looking outward to markets abroad. The Association of Italian Exhibitions and Fairs (AEFI) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy have signed a protocol agreement to favor the commercial relationships of Italian companies in the United States.

This agreement follows not much more than a month after a similar accord signed by AEFI and its Indian counterpart, IEIA, to promote internationalization.

The latest agreement was signed by AEFI President Ettore Riello and the managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, Simone Crolla, within the AEFI  assembly which dedicated significant space to the theme of internationalization.

For AEFI this represents another important goal. The Italian-American agreement aims for joint organization of workshops to support associates with specific information and sector studies, to favor strategies of business expansion and opportunities of investment in the US.

There will also be reciprocal information exchange and promotion of activities and business cooperation through all the instruments available, including the web.

In addition, the agreement foresees the possibility to plan specific institutional missions that favor the construction and development of relationships and contacts of AEFI and their associates in North America, in particular with US government agencies specialized in matters of fairs and exports, such as the International Trade Administration and the US Customs and Border Protection.

“Internationalization is a fundamental activity for our association,” said Ettore Riello, president of AEFI. “The strategic value of this agreement is even more significant in a moment in which the rules of the game are changing and a new era of international trade could be about to start. Thanks to the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, we intend to offer our associates the support to approach and expand in the correct way and with the right understanding of the American market.”

For Crolla, this agreement with AEFI represents “the will to support the Italian fairs' process of internationalization toward the US. As already tested in past projects, the American market offers numerous opportunities of development in this sector and we will promote and favor relations with the US, including the most interesting investment options.”

AEFI can count 35 associated fair districts which organize more than one thousand events each year, 95% of which are international. They make up 85% of the total events that take place annually in Italy.

On the international level, AEFI represents Italian fairs in UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry. The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of Washington DC, a business association which has more than three million companies as members.