PARMAforEXPO: extremely positive results for the territorial marketing project promoted by the city of Parma at EXPO


Thanks to a profitable collaboration between public and private stakeholders, during the six months of EXPO Milan 2015, Parma successfully managed to receive 30 foreign delegations by hosting over 400 business and institutional guests on our territory and organizing 217 meetings which involved 151 local companies.

Parma, November 3rd, 2015The territorial marketing project implemented by the PARMAforEXPO working group yielded extremely positive results: as a matter of fact during the six months of the Universal Exposition in Milan up to 30 foreign delegations, representing both institutions and businesses, have been visiting Parma. The countries involved, on the basis of the official programmes of visit to Italy, ranged from Brazil to South Korea, from Argentina to the United Arab Emirates, from Cuba to Ghana, from Senegal to the Philippines, from North Africa to Bulgaria. A total number of 435 foreign delegates participated in the visits, including several ministers and a President of the Republic, and 217 meetings were organized involving 151 local companies.

«Thanks to an effective model of cooperation between public and private stakeholders – and I am referring in particular to the Parma Town Council, UPI – the Parma Association of Industrialists, the Chamber of Commerce of Parma, the University of Parma, and the Cariparma Foundation – stated Cesare Azzali, CEO of the PARMAforEXPO working group and by making the most of the proximity of our city to Milan, we succeeded in maximizing the visibility of the territory of Parma and in valorising the specificity of its entrepreneurial system. Our concept of ‘Scattered or Diffused EXPO’ turned out to be the winning one: we combined the discovery of Universal Exposition Pavilions to visits to the Food Valley, by organizing them in synergy with local businesses, associations and Consortia, in the aim of enabling the visitors to get a deeper understanding of our production and supply chain».

«By networking in the Parma System - added Andrea Zanlari, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma – we succeeded in creating a direct link between our territory and EXPO: there, in the Pavilion CIBUSèITALIA, we have been present and proactive thanks to an exhibition area where we had the chance to tell about and show the treasures of our culture and entrepreneurship, our historical bent to produce fine foods, our ability to innovate while respecting our tradition and artisan origins. Here in Parma the many delegations which have been visiting us could see with their own eyes the strength, the liveliness and the competitive capacity of our entrepreneurial system and our district model».

Parma Town Council was also extremely satisfied with the achieved results: «The PARMAforEXPO working group – stated the Town Councillor for Productive Activities and Tourism Cristiano Casasucceeded in bringing to Parma many business operators and top level institutional representatives coming from all over the world. For the local economy this represented a unique opportunity and we succeeded in fully seizing it thanks to the synergy between institutions and economic world. But we still have much work to do: now we will have to go on by making the most of the new relations we have started during these months of frantic activities».

The incoming foreign delegations activities related to the PARMAforEXPO project have been supported by Cariparma Foundation. The Foundation Chairman, prof. Paolo Andrei, stated: «Increasing the well-being of the local community has always been the main target for Fondazione Cariparma, in particular by providing support to welfare, research, training and culture, by thus triggering those processes of innovation and competitiveness which entail positive impacts on economic development: actions that are increasingly hinged on the concept of ‘networking into a system’».

Many foreign countries chose Parma as the destination of their delegations for many different reasons. As far as Developing Countries are concerned, which have been involved also thanks to the intervention of UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the foreign guests were mainly interested in obtaining a better understanding of the unique agribusiness model of Parma, with its balanced mix of large global players and small local players being yet extremely competitive thanks to their great commitment to research and development. Developing Countries delegations were also interested in getting in contact with companies specializing in the mechanical engineering and food machinery industry in the aim of finding prospective technological partners. As a matter of fact the medium term goal for these countries is that of agricultural modernization through the introduction of technology.

In regard to technological innovation and knowledge transfer Erasmo Neviani, Delegate of the Rector of the University of Parma for the EXPO 2015 project, stated: «In the framework of the Universal Exposition Parma, which is the City of fine Food ‘par excellence’, intended to submit its own model. As an integral part of the local territory and the city system, our University, thanks to the cultural role it plays, proactively contributed to finding solutions and working out proposals, also by joining the PARMAforEXPO project and taking part to the meetings with the foreign delegations which stemmed from the project».

Other delegations came instead to Parma in order to enhance already existing partnerships: this is the case, for instance, of South Korea, which was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and showed great interest in particular in two PDO products, which epitomize the excellence of Italian Food, and namely Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma. The same applies to Brazil, which was represented by the delegates of the Industrial Federations of the States of São Paulo and Bahia. As a matter of fact, in the last decade local export to Brazil increased by 257% and there are excellent perspectives for the future.

The United Arab Emirates instead, represented both by a delegation of the Ajman Emirate and by the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Dubai, came to Parma with another target in mind : studying the unique features of the international territorial marketing project by PARMAforEXPO. The idea is for the United Arab Emirates to adopt the Parma model on the occasion of EXPO Dubai 2020.

«For Parma and the local businesses, EXPO represented a new communication and business opportunity, an unparalleled and unmissable opportunity for our city to increase its renown and improve its visibility on the international scene - stated the CEO of the PARMAforEXPO working group Cesare Azzalibut we shall consider the Universal Exposition to be only the very first step of a long path and not the end of the road. The ultimate challenge begins now: Institutions, entrepreneurs and scientific academia shall have to keep interfacing with each other and networking as a system so as to enable Parma to put itself in the limelight in an increasingly globalized and competitive economic scenario».




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