Abruzzo Winks at the Emirates
Last May, the "TUTTO FOOD" fair was held at the Fiera Milano in Milan, the b2b fair for the agri-food ecosystem, a national and international reference point for the development of the sector and for discovering, designing, and driving the future of the food industry. Some of the most prestigious Abruzzo companies had the pleasure of participating in the event to showcase their know-how and local products. The event is a true benchmark for Italy and abroad, as well as a showcase for companies in our region that intend to establish connections with foreign markets, particularly the Middle East.
During the four-day fair, the Abruzzo region had the opportunity to showcase its excellence and sustainable innovation throughout the supply chain. It was an important moment not only for connecting supply and demand but also for sharing knowledge, finding solutions, gathering information, and networking.
Participating in the event provided the opportunity to promote and advertise local products, including agricultural products, confetti, pasta, flour, sweets, coffee, snacks, jams, oil, and many other specialties. Moreover, it aimed to enhance and strengthen their ties with the Middle East, which has seen a significant increase in the export of Abruzzo products to the United Arab Emirates in recent years.
In fact, there has been a considerable increase in Italy's export of products overseas, with a record-breaking year for the agri-food sector in 2022, seeing a 17% growth in Italian exports compared to 2021, surpassing 61 billion euros in value.
Specifically for our region, there has been an increase in product exports in 2022, with a preliminary percentage of around 8% of the total Abruzzo region's food exports for the first period of 2022, as reported by the Economic Observatory of the Italian Government.
From an economic perspective, Abruzzo's connection with the Middle East is very important because the United Arab Emirates are classified as one of the most appealing economies in the world for entrepreneurs looking to start a business. The government of the United Arab Emirates provides businesses with a favorable regulatory environment, fewer bureaucratic obstacles, and fast dispute resolution. As a result, this economy has experienced double-digit growth in the number of successful startups since 2012.
Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa region in the index of economic recovery published by the Horizon Research Group. This strongly demonstrates the fiscal and monetary stability of the country's economy and highlights its ability to channel resources to overcome economic fluctuations. Economic stability and protection are essential for nurturing startups, as they ensure the survival of small entities that do not have the financial strength to withstand any economic downturn. By providing entrepreneurs with adequate support and financial assistance, the government of the United Arab Emirates has demonstrated its commitment to encouraging startups in the country.
It is important to note that Italian entrepreneurs in the country can rely on the support of the Consular Network of the Italian Embassy in the UAE (composed of the Consular Office in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of Italy in Dubai), as well as the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), which has had an office in Dubai since 1998, alongside Italian and UAE companies interested in industrial and commercial collaboration.
Therefore, the connection with the Middle East can only strengthen the prestige of Abruzzo companies and empower young startups. Abruzzo entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with buyers with real purchasing power, such as distributors, importers, supermarkets, convenience stores, gourmet shops, food service outlets, out of home establishments, and chefs, who will bring new economic and business resources to our region.
In addition to exporting local products, Abruzzo could develop a proper business plan for Abruzzo products sold in the Middle East by consulting with leading Abruzzo entrepreneurs. The purpose would be to plan and organize the best sales strategy for exporting local products to Middle Eastern countries. This tool could be extremely useful for both new Abruzzo entrepreneurs who are just venturing into foreign business and those who have already established connections with the United Arab Emirates and need to enhance their existing business.
Among the Abruzzo-based companies that joined the "TUTTO FOOD" fair, we may find D’Alessandro Confetture, Dolciaria Cerasani, Molino Candelori, Polo AGIRE, Fox Bar Italia, Cinquina International, Pastificio Fratelli De Luca, Compagnia del Caffè, Gida Italia, Torrefazione Adriatica (Marcafe), Corvino, Confetti Pelino, Azienda Agricola Silvia Rosa, Saquella 1856, Frantoio De Juliis Timando di D’Aloisio Oviglio, Società agricola Podere Francesco, Azienda agricola Pasqualone Diego – Masseria Erasmi.
By: Avv. Carlo D'Andrea, Chairman of the Shanghai Chapter & National Vice President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and Managing Partner of D'Andrea & Partners Law Firm, with offices in Shanghai and Pescara.