Dubai, 30 April 2013. – After seven months of intense work the Sicily Partnership Project with the UAE and Oman has been completed successfully. Two Italian business missions to the Gulf and two incoming missions to Sicily, promoted and funded by the Department for Productive Activities of the Government of the Sicily Region, concluded with positive results, opening new posibilites of penetration of these two dynamic markets by Sicilian companies.
The sectors involved in the project included agriculture & food products, mechanics-mechatronics, tourism and stone & marble. More than fifty companies from the UAE and Oman participated in the two incoming missions to Sicily. For the food industry, oils and pasta were the focus of great interest and some Sicilian manufacturers negotiated proposals for exclusive representation in the target markets.
In the mechanics-mechatronics sector, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Sicilian District of Mechatronics and the American University of Dubai, the UAE Society of Engineers and the Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research.
The stone & marble industry also benefited during the incoming mission in March, when some Sicilian manufacturers open negotiations for projects with a total value close to €100,000. Other companies also received offers of exclusive representation and proposals to incorporate both processed and semi-finished Sicilian products in upcoming projects in the UAE and Oman.
These new business prospects were the conclusion of a plan of activities initiated with an exploratory technical mission to the UAE in September 2012 with representatives from Confindustria Sicily, CNA Sicily, District of Mechatronics, Coexport Consortium, Proexport Consortium and the Regional Department for Productive Activities. The success of this first approach was reflected in the great interest among the local counterparts in taking part in the incoming mission to Sicily.
Subsequently, in November, 13 Sicilian companies of the food sector participated in the international exhibition SIAL MIDDLE EAST Abu Dhabi, with excellent results in terms of PR, new contacts and business prospects. Thank s to this effort, the follow-up incoming mission to Sicily gathered 33 companies, selected in collaboration with the strategic partner Italian Arab Chamber of Commerce-ORIENS International Business Consulting.
As a whole, the Sicily Partnership Project with the UAE and Oman involved more than 100 companies and institutions from the target countries in various stages: first contact, selection, B2B meetings during trade missions in the region and in Sicily, and follow-up, which is still in execution. About 70 Sicilian companies from the eligible sectors took part in the program, each one of which met at least 10 relevant counterparts interested in their products, for a total of more than 700 individual meetings.