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Italy restarts... Bravo! Italians made it

Filed on June 18, 2020 | Last updated on June 18, 2020 at 01.46 am
Mauro Marzocchi, Secretary General, Italian Industry & Commerce Office in the UAE

Fighting against the odds of Covid-19, the country has restarted

It made it. Italy was the first country in the world, after China, to face an unprecedented health crisis and casualties due to Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, many countries have not experienced or known such a painful, but useful experience, as us. 

On the other hand, six nations have unfortunately exceeded Italy by number of infections. The Italian Government has been successful in curbing the coronavirus pandemic by setting firm guidelines and providing one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world (free of cost), civil protection and the Italian population.

The Italian government
The decisions that saved Italy were made by evaluating the indications of the ISS (Higher Institute of Health) and Civil Protection. The decisions taken have primarily aimed at the health of Italians before economic interests; whereas many countries instead preferred to give precedence to economic aspects and underestimated the pandemic.

In March, phase one was established to close all economic activities (excluding the food and medical sector chain). After the first phase, in which the epidemic touched the greatest virus spread, the lockdown was eased with authorities opening some production chains that did not endanger workers' health.

Phase two started on May 4. Each phase of the easing of the lockdown was characterised by continuous and widespread verification that the epidemic was under control, before moving on to the next phase.

On June 3, Phase three began and it can be said that Italy has restarted in full despite the continuous attentions and limitations imposed by the Government and suggested by the ISS particularly to maintain social distance and use masks in public places. On June 15, the EU borders reopened as well as the European flights resumed without requiring quarantine on arrival. It is expected that on July 1 borders to non-European countries (including the UAE) will be reopened.

On June 13, Italy along with Germany, France and Holland signed an agreement to buy 400 million of vaccines from Astrazeneca for the European countries. The vaccine was discovered thanks to a collaboration between Oxford University and Italian company IRBM based in Rome.

National Health System and Civil Protection
Thanks to the sacrifice of the nurses and doctors, which also resulted in deaths of a few, it was possible to overcome an epidemic that would have stunned any other country that had not had the qualified and free structures of Italy, such as Hospitals and Civil Protection (Association of volunteers) as well as private clinics, all united in facing the emergency without looking at their own economic or image return.

Italians fight back
We can say that this was the strongest weapon available to Italy to overcome the crisis. You can make all the laws you want, but in the end, it is the responsibility and the individual that rewards. The Italians, who have always been considered 'artists' and lovers of the good life and not rule-binding per se, have shown cohesion and seriousness, thanks to which Italy was able to restart and defeat the pandemic almost completely.
We, Italians, who live abroad have witnessed with great pride and emotion, our compatriots at home resisting an event unprecedented in recent history.

Italians in the UAE
The objective of the Industry & Commerce Office in the UAE (Italian Chamber of Commerce Abroad) is precisely to encourage commercial exchange between Italy and the UAE. The policy in recent years has been to organise missions of Italian companies in the UAE, missions of Emirati operators in Italy and to prepare medium-term projects that involve collective participation in the most important international fairs in Dubai.

In 2019, the chamber, with its many activities, involved 1,327 Italian companies and 2,121 Emirati companies. With the situation created by Covid-19, the Board of the Chamber has decided to launch a discount campaign for Italian companies that want to use the Chamber services. In addition, e-missions were launched to create a possibility of developing the businesses via websites without the physical presence of entrepreneurs. It is an activity that is yielding good results. Another way that the Chamber has taken to help resume business as quickly as possible between the two countries is by conducting webinars that are giving excellent concrete results.

We can say that the methodology imposed by the Chamber is the most functional for restarting the business. That is, instead of organising generic webinars, the Chamber organises 'sectoral' webinars, each dedicated to a specific product category - food and beverage, construction and furniture, environment and waste recycle, oil and gas.

These events are dedicated to Italian companies operating in Italy and in the UAE and have always seen the testimony of important Italian and Emirate entrepreneurs operating in the UAE. These are organised in Italy by the most important associations of entrepreneurs such as Confindustria and Confartigianat with an audience from 60 to 90 companies participating in each webinar. Also, the representatives of the Chamber (professionals operating in Italy and recognised by the Chamber) collaborated for the best outcome of the events, thus organising UAE presentation whereby numerous Italian companies have participated and will continue to participate. There are numerous media interviews in Italy and in the UAE that allow us to better promote the importance of the UAE for Italian exports.

Lastly, the Chamber is promoting a four-month 'Italian Food & Beverage in Dubai' project, which will see numerous Italian companies participate in Speciality Food that will take place from November 3-5, 2020, at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.

Upcoming activities by the Chamber in 2020

June 2020

. Webinar on the Environment and Waste Recycling Sector in the UAE
. Webinar on the Construction Sector in the UAE

July 2020
. Promotion in Italy about 'Italian food & beverage in Dubai'.
. Webinar with CNA Varese, one of the biggest Italian associations of SMEs
. Webinar with Italian representatives of the Chamber in Italy

September 2020
. Meeting of the Scientific Commission of the Chamber to discuss relation from Italian universities such as Turin University, Luiss University Rome, Ca' Foscari University of Venice and universities in the UAE to improve relations.
. Start promotion in Italy about Organization of VII Edition of Gulf International Congress in Dubai
. Start promotion of 60 Italian food companies in the UAE for imports

October 2020
. Webinar on the Construction Sector in the UAE Webinar on the UAE market to Italian companies in collaboration with Italian Chamber's representative
. Plan of activities in collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation
. Italian companies mission B2B in the UAE

November 2020
. 3-5: Speciality food exhibition in DWTC to see participation of 60 Italian companies
. Aperitivo Italian gathering
. Ospitalita' Italiana awards to the best Italian restaurant in the UAE

December 2020
. 4-6: Gulf International Congress. Will participate with 150 Chamber's representatives from Italy
. 6: Annual gala dinner to award Best Italian Company in UAE 2020 and close the Chamber's activities of 2020

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