Angola and Ethiopia are the starting points for the AEFI-Associazione Esposizioni e Fiere Italiane Internationalisation Commission’s project, coordinated by Renzo Piraccini, to support the development and growth in emerging markets of Italian agrifood and livestock supply chain companies.

AEFI and Agenzia ICE have organised a mission from 24 to 30 November to Africa, a continent which, with its young population and sustained economic growth, is demonstrating its potential to become a major international market and a significant opportunity for Italian business.

The project – targeted at exhibitors at agrifood and livestock industry trade fairs organised by AEFI associates – will include a number of events with both scientific and educational elements and more commercially oriented ones. The mission will include meetings and discussions with local businesses and Italian authorities working locally as well as on-site visits.

The business areas involved include agriculture, horticulture and dairy, focussing both on the products themselves and also materials, plant and machinery, technologies and equipment for cultivation, rearing, distribution and sale.

Angola and Ethiopia were selected following a thorough analysis of the economic situation and political development of the two countries: Angola has already initiated the diversification of its economy which, combined with an increased openness to international investment and capital, has set the groundwork for new opportunities for Italian business. The country’s natural and mineral resources and its on-going internationalisation offer important opportunities for growth for Italian business, above all for machinery, thanks to its great potential in terms of resources, water and cultivable land. As for products, Angola has not yet developed a food industry able to satisfy domestic demand; a large portion of such goods are currently imported.

In recent years, Ethiopia has experienced significant growth, especially in agriculture and services, as well as growing demographically thus, the country is playing a key role in the economic and political development of sub-Saharan Africa. The most important sector is agriculture (80% of employment and around 45% GNP), and government policies have been enacted to solve the industry’s structural failings and increase productivity. There are very exciting prospects for food processing plant as well as for packaging machinery and products.

This mission to Angola and Ethiopia is AEFI’s second project in Africa, following last year’s agreement with AAXO – the Association of African Exhibition Organizers.
AEFI’s interest in Africa will continue over the coming months with other projects dedicated to the Italian production chain industry.

AEFI – Associazione Esposizioni e Fiere Italiane, a private non-profit Association, was established in 1983 with the goal of generating synergies between the most important Italian exhibition districts. AEFI currently includes 36 member exhibition districts, which organise over 1,000 events a year over an overall exhibition area of 4.2 million square metres. Nearly all international and national trade fairs which take place each year in Italy are held in AEFI-member exhibition districts.
It is the privileged partner for operators and institutions alike, and its role is to support members through the development of activities and programmes in the sphere of training, marketing, promotion and research, as well as to provide services for trade fairs through the activities of its Committees: Exhibition Hub Technical Committee, Legal-Administrative Committee, Internationalisation Committee and Trade Fairs Network Committee. On the internationalisation front, AEFI supports members thanks to agreements with strategic markets. To date, partnerships have been agreed with Iran, Taiwan, Lebanon, India, Thailand and South Africa, with AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, with CENTREX, the International Exhibition Statistics Union and with EUPIC-EU Project Innovation Center. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with SACE and SIMEST.
AEFI has promoted the foundation of ISFCert, the Certification Institute for Exhibition Industry Statistics which, through rigorous methodologies, enables Italian organisers to present and recognise standardised data, in the name of transparency and reliability. AEFI represents Italian trade fairs in UFI – Union of International Fairs.