Italian skill is being underused

BIG 5: Italians showcase their manufacturing skills, as they try to expand into the lucrative Middle Eastern markets.

Andrea Sturm, sales manager, of Rubinetterie Ritmonio, which specialises in copper parts.
Andrea Sturm, sales manager, of Rubinetterie Ritmonio, which specialises in copper parts.

Italian expertise in product design and manufacture could be better utilised by the Middle East's construction industry, according to traders from the country.

The Vercelli Chamber of Commerce is the only Italian chamber which is exhibiting at the Big 5.

It is representing the province of Vercelli, which lies in the north of the country, halfway between Turin and Milan.

The area has been the centre of the metalwork industry since the 15th century, when it was renowned for its bell foundries.

Now its industry specialises in producing valves, taps and other mechanical parts.

Elena Baldin, spokeswoman, Vercelli Chamber of Commerce, said: "Italy is the world leader in design - you just have to think of companies like Gucci or Ferrari.

"It is the same with many of our products; they are of the highest possible standards."

One of the companies affiliated with the chamber was Rubinetterie Ritmonio, which specialises in the production of copper parts and brazed components.

Sales manager Andrea Sturm said: "The GCC countries are a difficult market to penetrate, but we are finding that once people are aware of the quality of the products they want more.

"This is one of the most lucrative markets in the world and although we are doing well in Europe we see this as a potential growth area for companies from our region.

"I think that customers out here are beginning to realise that Italian products are of a very high quality and design standard."

About 70% of the firm's sales are to home markets, but it is now looking to target the GCC.

Sturm added: "We see the Big 5 as an excellent opportunity to expand our markets and showcase Italian manufacturing."

The other companies associated with the Vercelli Chamber of Commerce are Sarma; Pasquale Lino & Figli; IMT Armaturen; Fortis & Bruno; and Alea.

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