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The presentation of Smolensk region in Milan

The presentation of Smolensk region in Milan

On May 15th, 2017 at the Milan office of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce (IRCC) and the Department for Investment Collaboration of Smolensk Region organized a meeting of Russian entrepreneurs from Smolensk region with Italian business representatives.

The Smolensk region coat-of-arms and mapThe Smolensk region coat-of-arms and map, photo WEB

The Russian delegation was headed by the region’s Deputy Governor Rostislav Rovbel. In the industrial and financial Italian capital the delegation was welcomed by Aleksandr Nurizade, Consul-General of the Russian Federation in Milan, Igor Karavaev, the trade representative of Russia in Italy, Rosario Alessandrello, the President of IRCC and Giancarlo Lamio, the ITA representative.

A business meeting with the IRCC President Rosario Alessandrello (to the right)A business meeting with the IRCC President Rosario Alessandrello (to the right), photo © Еvgeny Utkin

Aleksandr Nurizade emphasized that Italians are still interested in Russia greatly. He also noted that the sanctions aren’t a Russian idea and evidently don’t benefit Italy. Nevertheless, now it is a good moment to invest into Russia as Russian economy shows steady growth.

Aleksandr Nurizade, Consul-Genral of the Russian Federation in Milan

Aleksandr Nurizade, Consul-Genral of the Russian Federation in Milan, photo © Еvgeny Utkin

Igor Karavaev said that Italians are gradually reforming their business in Russia from “made in Italy” to “made with Italy”. For instance, they already manufacture such a typical product as mozzarella in Russia. “Last year while speaking at a Russian-Italian forum, I claimed that Russia will learn to produce Italian cheese. Italians regarded it sarcastically at the time.

But times are changing and since the last year more than 50 cheese factories which produce Italian cheese have been launched in Russia. And I’m not talking about a food industry giant Galbani”, – he accentuated. Rosario Alessandrello stated that in addition to its various benefits for business, Smolensk region is a strategic place which will connect Europe and China.

Cheese production in Smolensk region

Cheese production in Smolensk region, photo WEB

The shortest ways from Central Russia to Europe are passing through Smolensk regionThe shortest ways from Central Russia to Europe are passing through Smolensk region, photo © smolensk.region-news.info

Rostislav Rovbel described the investment opportunities of the region, while Smolensk region business representatives talked about their companies: the well-known Rosa plant (Smolensk investors bought it from Danon), Thimeco, Polimix, Intekh and other enterprises of the region.

Economic performance of Smolensk RegionEconomic performance of Smolensk Region, sourced from the Federal Treasury

The event was concluded with mutual B2B meetings between Italian and Russian enterprises.  They raised significant interest among Italian businessmen, because the Russian-Italian Business Forum is a unique opportunity for direct communication, establishing contacts and discussing future joint projects. 

In its turn, Russia will continue to promote similar forms of cooperation: representatives from other Russian regions are planning to visit Italy in the future.

Evgeny Utkin, Milan, Italy

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