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Third time’s a Charm

From left: Marco Marsilio, President of Abruzzo Region; Khalifa Al Jaziri Al Shehhi, Manager of Dubai Future Foundation; and Daniele D'Amario, Regional Councillor.
From left: Marco Marsilio, President of Abruzzo Region; Khalifa Al Jaziri Al Shehhi, Manager of Dubai Future Foundation; and Daniele D'Amario, Regional Councillor.

Abruzzo region is back to focus on strengthening the linkages and building bridges between the UAE market and Italian businesses



Published: Mon 25 Apr 2022, 12:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Apr 2022, 1:01 PM

From the Italian Pavilion to Expo 2020 Dubai at the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Dubai — The third economic institutional mission of the Abruzzo region in the UAE has ended.

After the first visit by the delegation led by President Marco Marsilio, and the second one which was aimed at entrepreneurial imprint with a focus on the agri-food excellence of the region, Abruzzo is back in Dubai again with a further initiative aimed at signing a series of memoranda of understanding with bodies and institutions of the UAE to promote the birth and development of collaborative agreements in favour of the main production sectors of the region. Among the partnerships concluded, the collaboration agreement with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UAE was signed on February 27 at the IICUAE offices.

This package of initiatives comes at the end of the thematic weeks of Expo 2020 Dubai, which saw the Abruzzo region as a protagonist and during which, within the broader framework of Italian ‘know-how’, Abruzzo presented to the world the great secret of its goldsmith art, an extraordinary mix between tradition and modernity, and the ceramics of Castelli, narrated through the exhibition entitled ‘Abruzzo from the past to the future: art in our hands’ which was hosted by the Italian Pavilion.

Meeting at Italian Industry and Commerce Office in Dubai with the institutional delegation of Abruzzo Region.
Meeting at Italian Industry and Commerce Office in Dubai with the institutional delegation of Abruzzo Region.

Among the events that involved the Abruzzo region, there was increased focus on the food and beverage sector, which took place from February 7 to 14. The latter was characterised by B2B meetings between nine Abruzzo companies and several buyers identified by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UAE, and a masterclass dedicated to Abruzzo specialties and created by the master pastry chef Federico Anzelotti and chef Federico Cieri, held within the well-known Dubai fair, the Gulfood.

From Expo 2020 Dubai to the Dubai Future Foundation, the two institutional days of the Abruzzo delegation, held between January 30 and February 1, saw the regional representatives also involved in a series of meetings aimed at developing agreements with the research centres of the region and the Emirati incubator.

The signing of the agreement for the establishment of the 'Abruzzo Region Representative Desk in the UAE'. From right: Mauro Marzocchi, Secretary General of IICUAE; Daniele D'Amario, Regional Councillor; and Stefano Cianciotta, President of Abruzzo Sviluppo.
The signing of the agreement for the establishment of the 'Abruzzo Region Representative Desk in the UAE'. From right: Mauro Marzocchi, Secretary General of IICUAE; Daniele D'Amario, Regional Councillor; and Stefano Cianciotta, President of Abruzzo Sviluppo.

On the occasion, the delegation met with Khalifa Al Shabiri, Head of Commercial Affairs of the Ministry of Economy, who presented the idea of the future and development of the UAE, illustrating the ‘2071 Programme.’

The cordial meeting was followed by the visit of the delegation to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, an occasion that gave way to engaging in discussions on the importance of the interconnection between the economic reality of Abruzzo and that of the Emirate. Among the representatives of the delegation, President Marsilio was also present.

Abruzzo companies participating in B2B meetings at a presentation on the UAE market.
Abruzzo companies participating in B2B meetings at a presentation on the UAE market.

We interviewed President Marsilio about the opportunities that the region presents. President Marsilio, why does Abruzzo look to Dubai?

Today, Dubai is the centre of the world, especially because of Expo 2020 Dubai. The region is here to make itself known to the whole world as well as the emirates. The goal is to show the excellence of our territory, the level of growth, technological innovation, and applied research behind the many industrial products. But Abruzzo is also here to make known its precious and refined craftsmanship, which for a demanding public such as the UAE, could result in a point of contact from which to develop future commercial and cultural relations. Unfortunately, I spent only two of the three days in Dubai, but I thought it was important to be present, to accompany the delegation at the highest level and also to show the attention and seriousness with which we have dedicated ourselves to the many projects brought to this Expo.

What can the Abruzzo region offer to the Emirates and what do the Emirates have to give to Abruzzo?

Dubai's great calling for the future is well known. The Emirates have their sights set on the most advanced technologies despite being a very young nation. We, on the other hand, have everything else and a great past, which is fundamental because solid roots are needed to build the future. In this, I found a profound synergy between Italy and the Emirates in combining the great enthusiasm for innovation of young people and the wisdom and knowledge of ancient people. It may turn out to be the right recipe.

Beyond the spotlight on Expo 2020 Dubai, do you see continuity in the discussions started this semester between Italy and the UAE?

Yes, undoubtedly. It is no coincidence that our delegation is made up of representatives of the regional production company that brings together and manages industrial consortia and provides services to businesses, both from the Chambers of Commerce.

The meetings organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Emirates had the primary objective of weaving relationships based also on human relationships.

These relationships would allow us to provide greater support to our companies, led by representatives of the Chambers of Commerce. The role of the latter in under-standing which services, products, and methodologies are most effective for accessing the UAE market is fundamental.

Here, I hope that these activities can prove useful so that these events are not just a showcase but a real investment in the future.

What the protagonists of the Abruzzo region in the Expo project said

Gennaro Strever, President of the Chamber of Commerce Chieti Pescara

"Abruzzo returns home with a load of contacts and a collaboration agreement signed with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce which provides annual assistance to Abruzzo companies by the Emirati sister. It led to great satisfaction for all three stages, which involved dozens of companies and two leading sectors: technological innovation and agri-food, which were surrounded by the art of goldsmiths and ceramics. A combination of beauty, flavours, and artificial intelligence that has positively marked the fertile Arab market."

Antonella Ballone, President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Gran Sasso d’Italia

“The missions were useful not only for consolidating existing commercial relationships, but also for creating others. In addition to the export of car components and equipment in general, a request for production with higher technological content, such as artificial intelligence, emerged to which our companies can respond. Ceramics and jewellery have also made an impact, a sign that the luxury and traditional crafts markets are product sectors that can be exported to the markets of the Middle East. Direct contacts between companies in the Italian pavilion and the network, made up of political institutions, regional agencies, Chambers of commerce, and universities are effective means to promote the Abruzzo region in a synergic and integrated way. The synergy between bodies such as the Chambers of Commerce, the Abruzzo region, and the institutions in Dubai gives the right support for companies to be able to export and make the most of their products.

Dubai is an important financial hub and Abruzzo can offer the best products in terms of components and machinery, crafts, food, and beverage, innovative manufacturing products highly appreciated in such demanding and selective areas and markets.”

Letizia Scastiglia, President of the Development Agency

"The annual assistance to companies granted through a desk in Dubai is an opportunity granted only to five Italian regions and made possible thanks to the commitment of the Abruzzo chamber system and the Chieti Pescara Development Agency, technical partner of the region. An important result that testifies to the competence and deep knowledge of the dynamics of internationalisation by the Development Agency of the Chieti Pescara Chamber of Commerce made available to the regional delega-tion to achieve a single goal: the economic growth of the Abruzzo trade balance."

Daniele D’Amario, Regional Councilor for Economic Development of the Abruzzo Region

"The Abruzzo region is one of the five Italian regions to have signed this important agreement which will give our companies a real chance to enter a fundamental market, such as the UAE, which is a lever priority to compete in the Far East economic system, where 50 per cent of world business is already concentrated today. This agreement is a starting point for generating positive agreements for Abruzzo companies.”

Stefano Cianciotta, President of Abruzzo Sviluppo SpA

The signing of the agreement with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Dubai is a fundamental step in the missions of the Abruzzo regional system. The agreement we signed today will allow the entire regional business system to benefit from the advice of an organisation free of charge for one year, which is essential to know the business dynamics in the UAE markets. This initiative comes at the end of an internationalisation process which, under the aegis of the region, has allowed Abruzzo Sviluppo to dialogue with the entire regional chamber system and with the Abruzzo universities, to build concrete opportu-nities for the internationalisation of our companies."


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