PARMAforEXPO: the Parma System creates a network to seize EXPO’s opportunities


The PARMAforEXPO Work Group, which includes all the institutional and socio-economic stakeholders in the area, is active on three fronts: the website, the area within the CIBUSèITALIA Pavilion in Milan, and a rich incoming programme of foreign business delegations. The first event, in collaboration with the European Commission, is scheduled for May 8: it will feature the Euro-Mediterranean countries.

Parma, May, 2nd, 2015 – With the official opening of EXPO 2015, the PARMAforEXPO Working Table is also operative: a project that makes Parma a virtuous example throughout Italy because it creates a network of all the institutional and socio-economic stakeholders in the area, coordinated by Parma Alimentare. The Universal Exhibition in Milan, with its expected 20 million visitors and its theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life“, represents a unique opportunity for Parma, which is universally recognized as the Italian capital of agri-food and is highly rated for outstanding products such as Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Parma Ham, and for its entrepreneurial system. It also boasts considerable artistic and cultural heritage and is located in a strategic position, only one hour from Milan. Cesare Azzali, CEO of Parma Alimentare, explains: «Thanks to the real involvement of the whole Parma system, we aim to take advantage of the international nature and prestige of Expo to maximize the visibility of the Parma area and its entrepreneurial fabric. There are four strategic projects connected to PARMAforEXPO: the Municipality of Parma‘s promotion of the city as an international tourist destination; the creation of business opportunities through incoming foreign B2B delegations, thanks to the efforts by the Parma Industrialists Association (UPI) and the Chamber of Commerce; the advancement of food research, by the University of Parma; and CIBUSèITALIA, the largest EXPO corporate pavilion, arising from the collaboration between Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare.».

The virtual heart of the PARMAforEXPO Working Table is, which was created for both foreign visitors to EXPO and for B2B operators. The website highlights the excellence of our area in the fields of art and culture, wine and food, development and research, and industry. The latter includes more than just the agri-food sector: the ratio of companies to population in Parma is 93.2 per 1,000 people (one of the highest in Europe) and the city also boasts excellence in the engineering, automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, glass, fashion and construction sectors. More than a mere showcase, the website represents a business tool, thanks to the E015 Digital Ecosystem. With just a few clicks, it offers a comprehensive overview of products and/or services offered by Parma’s companies and the international markets in which they operate. This includes contact information, in order to facilitate tangible business opportunities by taking advantage of the presence of companies at EXPO in the PARMAforEXPO area in the CIBUSèITALIA pavilion, and by organizing company visits in Parma and its province. As Cesare Azzali points out, «E015 will represent one of the most important outcomes of the PARMAforEXPO Working Table, as it will continue to function after the end of the Milan Exhibition. This is why we are pleased with the response from the Parma entrepreneurial system to our invitation to register for free on the platform, in order to enjoy high-quality visibility and develop new business contacts».

The PARMAforEXPO Working Table will devote special attention to the incoming programmes. During the 24 week duration of the EXPO, the presence of business professionals, top dealers, key retailers and professionals from hotel, restaurant and catering at the PARMAforEXPO area in the CIBUSèITALIA pavilion in Milan will be combined with visits to the Parma area, organized together with companies, associations and Consortiums, in order to communicate a deeper knowledge of our businesses. «The financial investment set aside by PARMAforEXPO for incoming delegations is important – explains Cesare Azzali-. It aims to introduce foreign delegations visiting EXPO to the specific nature of our business model, particularly agri-food, in which great global companies operate alongside a system of small and medium businesses capable of offering unique products worldwide. A system whose strength lies in local products and in research and innovation centres that can meet the challenges of a modern economy.» The format of the visits will vary according to the foreign delegations and their specific requirements: in general, they will be two day-events, and will involve a “Food Study Tour” with visits to local companies belonging to the most representative agri-food supply chains. They will also include B2B business matching, with the objective of creating business opportunities and synergies capable of building projects in the medium term. «We are ambitious and we aim to involve countries that are already strategic partners of the Parma system as well as countries with strong growth prospects, with whom communication would have been difficult outside of the opportunity presented by EXPO – states Cesare Azzali-. For the success of this incoming operation, PARMAforEXPO will work alongside four organizations: the European Commission, the EXPO Milano 2015 company, UNIDO – PVS, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization that assists Developing Countries, and ICE – the Agency that promotes the internationalization of Italian companies.»

The first important appointment, in conjunction with the European Commission, is scheduled for Friday, May 8th. The Parma Industrialists Association will host a delegation of Euro-Mediterranean countries and offer interested companies the possibility to visit outstanding agri-food businesses in the Emilia-Romagna region. This initiative is part of the EU “Missions for Growth” programme, launched in 2011 to support the growth and competitiveness of European companies and facilitate their access to strategic markets. The companies invited by the European Commission operate in the sectors of agri-food, renewable energy, biotechnology and environmental resources management. The visit to the Parma area will be preceded by two days in Milan, with B2B meetings and talks about the promotion of cooperation and trade between EU countries and countries to the South of the Mediterranean.


Press Info
Ufficio Stampa PARMAforEXPO2015
Fabrizio Raimondi – Mind The Pop
Tel. +39 0521.230459, mobile +39 335.389848