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December 20, 2009

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Expo platform for Italy events

TO Enrico Pazzali, chief executive officer of Fiera Milano S.p.A, the upcoming World Expo presents one of the most important opportunities for his company.

Fiera Milano operates the world's second-largest exhibition center in Milan and conducts thousands of exhibitions a year. As an official partner of the Italian Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai 2010, Fiera Milano will be responsible for ensuring the coordination of the participation of the Italian regions to the Expo, an event of great significance to its business expansion in China.

The pavilion will present Italy's most featured characteristics, such as fashion shows from famous fashion houses like Versace, Armani and D&G.

The staff uniforms have been designed by Prada, and the latest model Ferrari and Isotta Fraschini luxury cars will be on display with Italian motorcycles and bicycles.

For a limited time, treasured art masterpieces, possibly including a Da Vinci, will be on display.

From Pazzali's perspective, the pavilion will be a "living" example of "made in Italy," conveying the country's most advanced industrial, artistic and lifestyle concepts to China and the world.

In his business's future plans, he also wants to bring the idea of "made in Italy" and "made in Europe" to the Chinese market.

Q: Italy ranks second in Europe's exhibition industry. As an official partner of the Italy Pavilion in Shanghai, what will be some of the highlights?

A: We aim to showcase every Italian excellence, such as Milan's fashion, its most attractive aspect.

Actually, fashion represents all of Italy and our shows will present the most popular new trends.

Also, visitors can experience the most authentic Italian food and enjoy our classical and popular music in concerts.

But apart from these, we also want visitors to see other aspects of modern Italy, like its technology and innovation.

Q: How well are the preparations progressing?

A: We are in charge of coordinating all our regions' promotional activities and so far most of Italy's regions, like China's provinces, have decided to participate. All the preparation work goes well and smoothly.

Q: Is the operation and management of the Italy Pavilion the start of Fiera Milano's business in China?

A: Actually, we started here in 2008 by establishing a joint venture with a German company and formed the Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai Ltd. I'm in Shanghai this time to see our company's operations and discuss future development.

China business is part of our expansion plans which include India, Brazil and Russia.

Q: Are you satisfied with the joint venture's development?

A: The operation is going well. We have organized 14 exhibitions in China, providing opportunities for local and foreign enterprises.

We bring professional exhibitions to China, and also take Chinese companies overseas. For example, PTC Asia, the annual international fair for power transmission and control, is one of the largest in Asia, and second-largest in the world.

We also arranged the Cheng Du Auto Show, the fourth biggest of its type behind Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou's auto shows.

Q: Shanghai has many top-ranked centers that stage high-level international events every year. What does your company bring to the China market?

A: Italy's industries offer many major advantages. We plan to bring three concepts to China, the first one being about lifestyle, based on exhibitions we hold in Milan to convey the idea of "made in Italy" and "made in Europe."

We want to hold an exhibition to express the lifestyle of "made in China." We have two major household products exhibitions, the Macef International Home Show, which is held twice a year, and the annual Milan Furniture Fair that is considered the industry's best and most influential.

These will support a lifestyle exhibition based on the "made in China" concept.

Q: What are the two other concepts?

A: The second is about Italian food and at the Expo we will promote food product-related exhibitions in Italy. The third is about hotel and catering supplies which we are still seeking opportunities to bring to China.

Q: As a busy and successful CEO, what does your own lifestyle involve?

A: When I have time, I like to be with my family. In this fast developing world there's always a lot of pressure from life and work, so it is of vital importance to find a balance between them, although pressure is a driving force of your life.

I like to do some exercise in my office and as a father of two lovely children, I care about their growth in every aspect. I love motorcycles and I have just bought a new car -- a GranTurismo GTS -- to spend happy hours with my family.

Of course, as an Italian, football is a favorite and my son and I are big fans of Intermilan.

Q: What are your impressions of Shanghai?

A: I am deeply impressed by Shanghai's modernity, kindness and its strong desire for development.

On the streets, I see people walking very fast which shows the pace of the city is enormous. Staff at Pudong New International Airport were very efficient, even better than in some European countries. The pizza I had at an Italian restaurant along the Huangpu River was as good as I could find in Italy.


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