PARMAforEXPO: the incoming programme linked to EXPO takes off with the arrival of EURO-MED delegation


The PARMAforEXPO Working Table, in  conjunction with the European Commission and with the support of Fondazione Cariparma, will today be welcoming 20 business delegates from southern shores of the Mediterranean. The day’s programme will include a welcome from the local authorities, in the presence of all the participants in the Working Table, a visit to two outstanding local companies and B2B meetings a,t the Parma Chamber of Commerce.

Parma, May, 8th, 2015 – Today, Friday, May 8th, saw the first major event of the densely-packed incoming programme promoted by the PARMAforEXPO Working Table in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Milan Expo, in terms of investment development and foreign market exports. This morning the Parma system is welcoming a delegation of business operators from southern Mediterranean countries.

The partnership between the PARMAforEXPO Working Table and the European Commission was essential for the organization of this event and it will be replicated on several occasions over the six-month duration of EXPO 2015. The EURO-MED business delegation’s day in Parma – preceded by two days in Milan, with a visit to EXPO and B2B meetings – is part of the Missions for Growth” programme launched by the European Commission to support the competitiveness of European companies and facilitate their access to strategic markets. The group consists of 20 participants representing countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iran. It includes institutions, clusters and, above all, companies that have expressed an interest in specific machinery, complete food processing lines, and new food products to insert in their portfolio and are seeking new logistical partnerships.

There has been significant organizational commitment by the PARMAforEXPO Working Table, an expression of its ability to create a network in our area, with the coordination of Parma Alimentare: this involved institutions, the Municipality of Parma, the UPI – Parma Industrialists Association and the Chamber of Commerce, which worked to organize the incoming programme of B2B delegations, and the University of Parma, which is committed to maintaining Parma’s leadership in applied food research. The support of Fondazione Cariparma was essential, as it provided financial backing for the PARMAforEXPO activities, particularly those concerning the incoming foreign business guests.

The day dedicated to the EURO-MED delegation opened this morning, at Palazzo Soragna. Cesare Azzali, UPI Director and President of the PARMAforEXPO Working Table, welcomed the guests: «Today kicks off an intensive incoming programme that will see our area and our manufacturing system at the centre of invaluable opportunities for developing new international relations. This is the result of intensive work, over several months, which at the end of 2014 brought to our city the first meeting of EXPO Commissioners, and puts Parma in a privileged position in comparison to other areas not being visited by foreign delegations. It is an added value that Parma companies must seize and transform into new relationships, to the benefit of the development of their own businesses. In particular, southern Mediterranean countries visiting Parma today have expressed a growing interest in the products and technology of our area and as they are expanding countries near us, it may prove to be in our interest to strengthen business relations with them».

On behalf of the city of Parma, the Mayor, Federico Pizzarotti, thanked the foreign delegation for choosing our area: «I extend my warmest welcome to the delegation here with us today. For us this day and EXPO represent an extraordinary opportunity for local development and investments on international markets. This is also an opportunity for introducing Parma to the world, with its outstanding products and its outstanding value, recognized by all as the capital of the Emilia-Romagna Food Valley. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those present, in the belief that today’s Working Table is the beginning of a journey of cooperation and new synergies between the institutions present here, their cities and their countries».

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Andrea Zanlari, expressed the satisfaction of Parma’s entrepreneurial system for the incoming EURO-MED mission organized by PARMAforEXPO and the European Commission: «The growth of this city and its companies has always been based on cultural and economic relations with foreign countries. By participating in EXPO and welcoming business delegations from several countries to Parma, we are confirming and renewing our tradition and our commitment. I am sure that we will all make the best of the opportunity, today and in the coming months, for direct dialogue and discussion with those who, like us, prove themselves every day in the economic field, once local and now global».

Prof. Erasmo Neviani, the University of Parma delegate to EXPO 2015, spoke on behalf of the university: «The University of Parma, one of the oldest in Italy, is wholeheartedly committed to participation in initiatives linked to the Milan Expo 2015. This is in view of the university’s commitment to research and to diversified and in-depth teaching in the fields of Science of Food Technology, Human Nutrition and Gastronomic Sciences. Its partnership and interaction with industrial manufacturing companies is an integral part of the research model of the University of Parma, in the belief that technology transfer is one of the missions of University research and at the same time adds to our wealth of knowledge and experience in technological spin-offs. In this context we hope that today’s meeting will be mutually beneficial and represent the beginning of a fruitful collaboration».

The welcome from the authorities at Palazzo Soragna will be followed by a visit to two Parma-based companies to familiarise the delegations directly with manufacturing companies in our area. The first appointment is at the Althea plant, a company that is part of the La Doria Group and produces ready-made sauces with own-label and private labels; this is to be followed up by a visit to the headquarters of Cft, a world market leader in food processing installations.

After the tour, in the early afternoon the EURO-MED delegation will go to the Commodity Stock Exchange of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma. Here local companies and institutions will have the opportunity of meeting the foreign guests one-to-one to discuss the possibility of commercial, technical and organizational ventures.


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