By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 20 May 2014:
“61 Italian companies are participating in the Libya Build 2014 under the umbrella of the Italian Trade Agency, compared to 85 last year”, Marco Pintus, Director of ICE Tripoli, the Italian Trade Agency told Libya Herald.
“This reduction is basically due to security concerns”, he added explaining the smaller Italian participation.
However, he explained that “Italian exports to Libya totaled Euro 2.87 billion last year – marking a 19.3% increase over 2012 and an all-time record as well. This would have typically encouraged a larger number of companies to participate”, explained Pinto. “Also consider that construction material and machinery exports roughly doubled in that period”, he added.
Asked if he was happy with the Italian delegation he said that “we are happy with 61 companies, a good number under the present difficult circumstances. To my knowledge, we are still the second biggest pavilion after the Turkish one”.
Sectors/products represented by the Italian companies are varied:
- Machinery and plants for: brick and tile manufacturing; concrete mixing, transport, distribution; block making;
- Machines and plants for the ceramic industry;
- Machines and plants for clay/brick manufacturing;
- Concrete mixing, transport, distribution machinery;
- Block making machines;
- Lifting equipment;
- Packing/wrapping machines;
- Valves and fittings;
- PPR pipes and fittings;
- Industrial refrigeration equipment;
- Water treatment equipment;
- Chemical products for the building industry (waterproofing systems, coatings, special paints, etc);
- Doors, windows, closing systems;
- Locks, door handles, cylinders;
- Ceramic wall and floor tiles;
- Marble/granite blocks and slabs;
- Prefabricated wooden structures/buildings.
Asked why the official Italian pavilion chose to participate specifically in the Libya Build exhibition, as opposed to any of the other similar exhibitions that take place in Libya, Pinto said “I regard Libya Build as the best organized exhibition in Libya as it offers a unique opportunity to meet many local companies related to the building industry under one roof and because it attracts a vast number of visitors from all over the country”
“So I see this exhibition”, he continued “as instrumental in helping Italian companies enter the market or strengthen their positions here. Libya Build is also a good opportunity for benchmarking as it hosts several foreign pavilions”.
“We have always participated in Libya Build and we are happy to strengthen our partnership with ATEX at this critical juncture, as we clearly see the potential of this exhibition as an instrument for future market penetration”.
“Libya is certainly not a country you can do business with without being physically present and establishing contact personally with local businessmen”
As to the current security problems and political impasse in Libya, Pinto took a long term view on Libya. “The predicament of present-day Libya does not make us overlook the fact that this country has huge potential in the construction sector”.
On the question of whether this is the right time to be visiting Libya and participating in trade exhibitions, the Director of the Italian Trade Agency’s Tripoli Office said “We think this is the right time for Italian companies to pave the way for their future success”, adding a gentle warning that “when things become smooth the market may turn out to be closed for latecomers”. [/restrict]