Interview with Ms Laura La Corte

Ms Laura La Corte
Ms Laura La Corte
Head, Consumer Goods – Fashion Accessories and Leisure Time
The Italian Trade Commission (ICE)
The Italian Trade Commission (ICE)

Does ICE contribute in promoting industry through trade fairs/events? Have you any aligned for near future?

Among the main activies of ICE-Italian Trade Commission – promotion, information, assistance and training – promotion is the most important in terms of financial investment.

Within the strategical lines of the Ministry of Economic Development, ICE drafts and implements annual promotional programs, aimed at promoting the Made in Italy in the most important and/or potential markets of the world.

Besides huge trade missions, organized to promote the national industrial system as a whole - since 2004 some 26 such missions have been organized in cooperation with Confindustria (Confederation of Italian Industry) and ABI (Italian Banking Association) – ICE’s promotional programs includes specific projets dedicated to the various sectors.

As far as the textile and apparel sector is concerned, the promotional activity is grouped mainly in three projects: one for the promotion in the most important and “traditional” markets (America, Europe and Japan); another one for the BRIC countries (Brasil, India and China) and “new” markets (among them, those of Central-Eastern Europe); and finally, a third project, usually named “Progetto Moda Made in Italy”, which is aimed at the promotion of the image of the Italian fashion sector in general, irrespective of geographic restrictions.

The initiatives included in the first two projects normally entail the organization of autonomous – i.e. all-Italian – exhibitions, and the collective Italian participation at important international fairs. Architects of ICE’s technical department usually draft the project of the Italian pavilions and stands. In some cases, ICE organizes an Italian official stand, which highlights the independent presence of Italian companies in the fair and offers them assistance and services such as interpreters, fax, internet connections, etc.

Another important way to promote the Made in Italy is the organization of incoming missions of foreign journalists and businessmen to the Italian fairs of the textile-apparel sector, among them the Pitti fairs, Milano Unica, Proposte, Altaroma, Filo, etc.

One innovative and far reaching way to promote in the long term the knowledge and use of Italian fabrics is the cooperation with important foreign fashion schools. The future fashion designers – American, Japanese, British or of other countries – thus have an opportunity to begin to use and appreciate Italian fabrics for their capsule collections.

Finally, the “Progetto Moda Made in Italy” concerns the general promotion of the Italian image, and therefore is based mainly on communication campaigns on the leading media in selected countries, cooperation with small and large retailers chains, information addressed to the Italian companies about some priority markets.

Unfortunately, the funds allocated by the Government for ICE’s promotional activity are – traditionally, I would say – insufficient to finance all the initiatives that we would like to include in our projects, in order to support the companies in their efforts to open new markets, or to maintain and strengthen their positions in traditional markets. Every year, in drafting the promotional program, also in consultation with the industrialists association, we have to deal with this shortage of funds, and we are compelled to select among a long list of possible initiatives, i.e. to cut many of them. In making our choices, we think first of the interests of the companies, because ICE’s first mission is to assist and back them.

We appreciate it. Thanks a bunch for being with us and for your valued views. It was great deal of information talking to you, Ms Corte!

Pleasure’s mine!

Published on: 09/11/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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