The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast is paving the way for new business relationships between Italy and South Florida with a business mission to Northern Italy this September.
Unlike the chamber’s previous trips abroad, which were mainly focused on and funded by Italian trade shows and solely open to professional buyers, this mission is open to all members of the Miami business community – accountants, lawyers and investors welcome.
“It’s our independent project,” said chamber Executive Director Nevio Boccanera, adding that one of the chamber’s main objectives is to improve business relations between Italy and the US.
“The idea is to create roundtable [discussions] of Florida investing opportunities for Italian companies looking to expand here,” Mr. Boccanera said.
The five-day trip, from Sept. 14 to 19, will include roundtable discussions and seminars with various associations, including Assolombarda, the Association of Industries in Lombardy; and the chambers of commerce of the cities Mantua and Como, according to the chamber’s travel program.
The trip will also feature a visit to Expo 2015, the six-month Universal Exhibition hosted in Milan featuring products and technology from more than 140 participating countries. The event addresses the issues of sustainable nutrition and food security across the globe.
Expo 2015, carrying the motto, “Feeding the planet, energy for life,” was a catalyst for the trip, Mr. Boccanera said.
This is not the chamber’s first business mission abroad. Last June, on a trip to Rome and Florence organized in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors, 15 local realtors participated, he said.
“What we’ve seen in the past is every time we connect Miami businesses with Italian business, things happen, because we open new doors, let’s say, for Miami businesses to get in touch with the market,” Mr. Boccanera said.
The outbound mission needs 15 participants to take place. A few individuals have already expressed interest.
One of those is Zuli Marval, who displays her affinity with Italian design at her interior design and furniture store – Casa Interior in the Design District. All that she sells is imported from Italy, Ms. Marval said.
“All the lines I like to offer are from Italy. I want to keep that concept,” she said. “These types of missions are very good because I can network with different and new providers and have a wide selection to offer for my designs.”
Ms. Marval is currently working on launching an online store, and is hoping to find accessories and pieces of furniture on the trip to offer online.
The trip mixes business with pleasure, Mr. Boccanera said, as participants will not only network in business settings but also have leisure time available.
The program costs for chamber members are $1,995 for single occupancy, $1,459 for double occupancy and $747 with no hotel package. Non-members will pay $2,165 for single occupancy, $1,630 for double occupancy and $918 with no hotel package.
Program cost includes participation in all business meetings and networking sessions, a four-star hotel in Milan, daily breakfast and a welcome dinner, a private coach to Mantua and Como, a boat tour of Lake Como and lunch at a lakeside restaurant, an admission ticket to Expo 2015 and additional guided tours.