PARMAforEXPO welcomes the South Korean Minister of Agriculture


An excellent opportunity for the Parma agrifood system to start new business relationships: South Korea is in fact one of the markets which are more sensitive to the made-in-Italy food on the table, with a rate of growth of 20.2% in 2014. The visit of the South Korean ministerial delegation will focus on two of the Parma excellences: Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma.

Parma, June, 6th, 2015 – Today Mr. Lee Dong-phil, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Policies of South Korea visited Parma, on the occasion of a visit to EXPO 2015. The ministerial delegation, comprising the Minister and seven other officials, including the Director General of the International Cooperation Bureau, Mr. Kim Duk-ho, was welcomed by the PARMAforEXPO working group with the organizational support of the Secretariat of the Office of Economic Affairs and International Organizations of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Rome.

The main focus of the visit of the South Korean Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Policies were the made-in-Parma PDO excellences. The delegation thus visited a dairy specializing in the processing of Parmigiano Reggiano and a ham factory specializing in the production of Prosciutto di Parma. For Parma’s agrifood system this was an extremely important opportunity.

Cesare Azzali, the director of UPI – Parma‘s Entrepreneurs‘ Association and Chairman of the PARMAforEXPO working group explained why: “As evidenced by the data released in recent days by Federalimentare (the Italian Food and Drink Industry Federation), the South Korean market shows a great interest towards the made-in-Italy food products. In 2014 in the Asian country the demand for Italian food products grew by 20.2%, thus ranking second only to Taiwan (+ 25%). We definitely would like that this visit to Parma could be an authentic journey into the food culture of our lands for the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Policies delegation. We would like them to discover two excellences of taste stemming from centuries-old traditions and a wholly Italian know-how that makes them unique all over the world. This appointment is indeed the very first step to start strategic business relationships with a strong partner, which currently is the fifteenth world economy. ”

The Mayor of Parma, Federico Pizzarotti, extended his warm greetings to the South Korean Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Policies on behalf of the city of Parma: “It is a pleasure for us to welcome to Parma such an important partner representing the Asian countries to which we look with interest and respect. Today’s meeting represents for our countries an unparalleled opportunity for the development of the territory of ​​Parma on international markets in Asia, but it is also an opportunity to open up to the world our Italian Food Valley, Emilia, which is so rich in excellence and extraordinary opportunities. I therefore take this opportunity to thank all the institutions that are present today and especially His Excellency, the Minister, for his visit, being fully aware that today’s meeting will be the beginning of a lasting and fruitful collaboration between our respective countries. ”

Also Mr. Andrea Zanlari, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma, underlined the importance of today’s meeting in terms of possible business alliances: “We are convinced that we will be able to establish new friendship and mutual commercial interest relations with South Korea and to consolidate already existing ones. South Korea is a lively and fast-growing country showing a great love for Italy and Made-in-Italy products. I am sure that while visiting Parma our guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the very best of agrifood production in our country, by directly experiencing the indissoluble relationship between our lands, their traditions and their products. Our entrepreneurial system shall have to consider the south Korean market as a top priority. And the institutions, such as the one I represent, shall have to do their best to facilitate mutual relations and exchanges. ”

The South Korean institutional delegation visit to Parma began with a visit to the Latteria Sociale Santo Stefano dairy in Basilicagoiano, close to Parma. The visit was organized by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium – represented by Michele Berini, Secretary of the Parma headquarters – in order to enable the members of the delegations to get a deeper understanding of the production of the King of Cheeses. The visit of the South Korean Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Policies indeed took place only a few months after the reopening of Parmigiano Reggiano exports to South Korea: an extremely significant decision not only because of the interesting volumes of Parmigiano Reggiano that are currently exported to that market, but mainly because such a decision allows to resume the steadily increasing trend in exports that has been recorded in recent years and which also concerns other Asian countries.

The South Korean ministerial delegation was then welcomed by the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium, which planned for a visit to Prosciuttificio San Pietro in Lesignano de’ Bagni, close to Parma. The President of the Consortium, Mr. Vittorio Capanna, extended to the delegation his warmest greetings on behalf of the members of the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium. The South Korean Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Policy could see with his own eyes the secrets of one of the products that are most representative of Made-in-Italy and one of the delicacies that are most appreciated and well known in the world.


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