(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 9. The Italian
Trade Agency (ITA) in Baku is planning to arrange a business
delegation from Italy to Azerbaijan, Andrea Maccanico, Director of
the ITA said in an exclusive interview with trend .
According to him, the agency strives to bring
representatives of some Italian regions to present themselves here.
This mission is going to include representatives of the Italian
tourism and agricultural sectors. As Maccanico noted, ITA often
arranges missions from Italy to Azerbaijan and vice-versa.
"Two months ago we arranged a visit of an Azerbaijani
delegation to Italy's Piedmont region. There were journalists,
importers, bloggers, and so on. The idea was to make Italian
regions more well-known to Azerbaijani businessmen. So, residents
of the region were glad to have the opportunity to interact with
the Azerbaijani delegation and now are willing to come to
Azerbaijan," he said.
Maccanico added that the planned timing for the
mission is in September or October 2023.
"The main purpose of it is to build connections and
communication. Thus, our main goal for this year is to go on like
this and arrange more missions both to Italy and from Italy to
Azerbaijan," he added.
Overall, according to Maccanico, there are three main
events that are held in Azerbaijan constantly: Italian Design Day,
Italian Cuisine Week and Republic Day.
"Also, I constantly keep in touch with local
restaurants, bars, and hotels. If they are going to host some
events dedicated to Italy, we are here to support them in several
ways," he added.
"New ideas for events are generally proposed by us
[Andrea Maccanico and Italian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Claudio
Taffuri] to the headquarters in Italy. There, they decide which
program or event should be financed. Just for you to understand the
scale of the projects we implement here, this year only for the
promotional events we are going to spend around 500,000 euro," he
Speaking further about the agency's ongoing projects,
the director noted that the ITA conducts plenty of projects to
support Italian businesses wishing to operate in Azerbaijan.
According to Maccanico, the agency is particularly
interested in providing more real made-in-Italy products, and in
order to do so has plenty of projects. Thus, one of the agency's
key initiatives is its incoming project which is designed to
support Italian enterprises interested in doing business in
Azerbaijan and which involves inviting buyers, business
representatives, bloggers, and importers to various events held in
"Throughout the year, we invite 30 to 50 people to
exhibitions dedicated to different sectors, ranging from cosmetics
and beauty to agriculture, food, and wines. This is one part of the
job and this is very important for us since it helps us have good
relations with importers, while we help them understand how the
trade goes. Those are the exclusive fairs for professionals only,
where you can see the state of the industry," he said.
As Maccanico noted, this is the first step in order to
build bridges between Azerbaijan and Italy in terms of business -
to find importers. Once importers have been identified, the Italian
Trade Agency takes the next crucial step.
"The second step is to organize further business
meetings and promotions to connect Azerbaijani importers with
Italian producers," he said.
In addition to the agency's efforts in Italy, it also
focuses on bringing Italian producers directly to Azerbaijan. As
the director noted, one such upcoming event is a fair scheduled to
take place in Baku on June 27.
"For instance, on June 27 we will be holding a fair
with the participation of numerous Italian producers here in Baku.
These producers are going to meet with importers. This event is not
going to be open to the public; it is designed only for
professionals. We expect attendance of 100-150 people," he
Andrea Maccanico clarified that because of the
relatively limited number of Azerbaijani importers of food and
beverage from Italy, particularly among smaller enterprises, the
agency aims to connect with major players, and therefore will
invite them to this event. This approach ensures wider distribution
and a greater reach for Italian products in the country, as huge
players are also connected with smaller businesses.
"During the event, there will be business-to-business
(B2B) meetings. Hopefully, in the next 6 months, Italian producers
will receive orders from Azerbaijan and here we will have new
products. The idea is to increase the variety of products and lower
the prices since imported food and beverages are always more
expensive than the local ones," Maccanico added.
Speaking further about the areas of particular
interest to Italian businesses in Azerbaijan, Andrea Maccanico
noted that there are plenty of activities going on.
"There is really strong political friendship between
the two countries. We are the main client of Azerbaijan in terms of
energy trade. But in the same way, we also have many other
businesses. For instance, we have Ansaldo Energia working in
Azerbaijan - they signed a contract to modernize the power station.
There is also an Italian company producing machinery for
Azerbaijan's agriculture industry in a joint venture with an
Azerbaijani manufacturer of tractors," he said.
Furthermore, according to the ITA director, there is
also a large presence of Italian fashion brands in Azerbaijan. This
industry is also of interest to the Italian SMEs and the Italian
Trade Agency is always here to help them enter the market.
"Moreover, we are going to take part in the
International Aerospace Conference that will take place in Baku in
October. There we will bring companies from Italy engaged in the
space sector. Also, we are going to launch the next edition of the
conference which will take place in Milan in 2024 and which
signifies very good relations between Azerbaijani Azercosmos and
the Italian Space Agency," Maccanico added.
When it comes to helping Azerbaijani companies
interested in doing business in Italy, the director noted that
although this matter is not precisely included in the mandate of
the agency, ITA also tries to help Azerbaijani companies as
"We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AZPROMO,
but the problem was that we signed this memorandum just before the
COVID-19 pandemic, so everything was suspended. But apart from that
I constantly keep in touch with ministries, agencies, and the Small
and Medium Business Development Agency of Azerbaijan as the
dialogue with counterparts is very important because we need to
understand where Azerbaijan wants to go and how Italy can help," he
It is well-known that Italy remains Azerbaijan's top
partner in terms of exports. In this regard, Maccanico highlighted
that although the trade relations between the countries are based
on Azerbaijan's exports of oil, Italy also exports goods to
"Azerbaijan's biggest import from Italy is composed of
machinery. Machinery is quite a large sector and this is something
that Italy is strongest at. For instance, in the agriculture
sector, there are plenty of Italian companies that supply
Azerbaijan with advanced machinery to help the country in plant
cultivation and achieve a final product with more value-added," he
The Italian Trade Agency is a government agency. It
operates through a worldwide network of 79 offices in 65 countries.
One of these countries is Azerbaijan. ITA offices serve as the
perfect entry point for companies looking to establish business
relationships with Italian partners, encompassing activities such
as sourcing Italian products and exploring investment opportunities