PARMAforEXPO welcomes three new institutional and business delegations


PARMAforEXPO welcomes the Ministers of Agriculture of  37 African countries, who came to Italy to attend a meeting promoted by UN in the frame of  EXPO, some EU-Asia business operators, involved in the “Missions for growth” project launched by the European Commission, and 20 businesses coming from Ecuador. These are the three delegations who will be visiting Parma on June 10 and 11. Truly unparalleled opportunities for the “Parma System” to develop a network of international relations and to create new opportunities for the local businesses.

Parma, June 11 2015 – With the aim of developing a network of international relations and of creating new business opportunities for local enterprises, the PARMAforEXPO working table carries on its activities to promote the foreign delegations incoming program. These activities are promoted by UPI – Parma’s Association of Entrepreneurs and by the Chamber of Commerce of Parma, with the coordination of Parma Alimentare and the support of Cariparma Foundation.

After the delegations from the countries of the southern Mediterranean basin, the Philippines, Pakistan, Argentina, and Chile, our city has welcomed three institutional and business delegations during a visit to Italy on the occasion of EXPO.

The first delegation arrived yesterday, Wednesday, June 10, and comprised the Ministers of Agriculture of 37 African countries, from Angola to Liberia, from Senegal to Uganda, from Madagascar to Somalia, as well as UN diplomats and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The institutional delegation trip to Parma was organized by the PARMAforEXPO working group together with the UN and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The visit to Parma followed a meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the African continent which took place at EXPO Milan on 8 and 9 June in order to discuss about agricultural development prospects and investment projects. The UN and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the invitation of the PARMAforEXPO working group to come to Parma for a visit to what is globally recognized as a district of excellence specializing in food processing machineries for the transformation of all agricultural products. The African delegation was accompanied by Paolo Cuculi, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and by Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. The delegation was welcomed at Palazzo Soragna, which is home to UPI – Parma’s Entrepreneurs‘ Association, by Cesare Azzali, head of UPI and CEO of the PARMAforEXPO working group, Cristiano Casa, Councillor for Industry, Tourism and Trade of the City of Parma, Andrea Zanlari, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma, and Barbara Panciroli, Research Director of the University Parma. The institutional meeting was also attended by the Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Simona Caselli, who participated in the meeting through videoconferencing, and Davide Bezzecchi, Head of Industrial Research and Innovation of Unindustria Reggio Emilia ( the Association of Industrialists of Reggio Emilia). As a matter of fact the African institutional delegation was also interested in deepening the topic of agricultural mechanization, and Reggio Emilia is indeed a district of excellence with this respect. One of the highlights of the day was represented by the visit to the the Agricultural Consortium of Parma, which for over 100 years has committed to support the development of farms and agricultural production in Italy, by providing financial support to farmers, by engaging in research and experimentation activities and by providing the necessary tools and resources for crops growing and cattle breeding: a virtuous model from which the African continent could definitely draw inspiration.

On Wednesday, June 10, also a EU-Asia business delegation visited Parma: an event organized by the PARMAforEXPO working group in collaboration with the European Commission, in the frame of the “Missions for Growth” programme which aims at supporting the competitiveness of European enterprises and facilitating their access to strategic markets. The group was made up of seven companies, including both European and Chinese businesses, which came to Italy to attend the conference, held in Milan, under the title “EU-China Day: Joint Cooperation to Enhance Investments and Business Opportunities.” The delegation was interested in finding prospective partners in Parma specializing in the food processing and food processing machinery industries. The EU-Asia business delegates have been welcomed by the representatives of the PARMAforEXPO working group stakeholders: Cesare Azzali, head of UPI – Parma’s Association of Entrepreneurs, Andrea Zanlari, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Benedetta Bottari, Researcher, Department of Food Science of the University of Parma. The delegates first visited ACMI SpA, a company specializing in the production of state-of-the-art filling and packaging lines, and then went to the Chamber of Commerce of Parma where they had the opportunity to participate in B2B meetings with the local companies, during which they have explored future opportunities for commercial, technical, and organizational collaborations.

The business delegations incoming activities promoted by the PARMAforEXPO working group continued on Thursday, June 11, with the arrival of a business delegation from Ecuador. Twenty companies mainly specializing in the agri-food industry. With a GDP of 94.47 billion dollars (data source: World Bank) Ecuador is one of the most vital economies of Latin America and the Caribbean: in 2014 the GDP grew by 4% (compared to a regional average increase of 0.8%) and 2015 GDP growth is forecast to remain robust (+ 3.8%). In recent years, Ecuador has been moving from a predominantly agricultural economy to an industrial one: the country is the largest exporter of bananas in the world and other typical local products are cocoa (eighth largest producer in the world), coffee and palm hearts. The production of rice, sugarcane and corn is also significant. The delegation from Ecuador was welcomed by the PARMAforEXPO working group representatives and namely by Cesare Azzali for UPI- Parma’s Association of Entrepreneurs, and Valentina Bernini for the University of Parma. The Ecuadorian business delegation mission to Parma was aimed at identifying possible partners in the food processing machinery industry. They have hence participated in a B2B business matching at the Chamber of Commerce of Parma. In the afternoon, the delegation visited Opem SpA, a leading capsule-filling machine manufacturer which in recent years thanks to its innovative solutions has contributed to the strong growth of coffee pods and capsules market.


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