West Australian businesses are hungry for a piece of the Italian export market, with WA exports jumping 74 per cent to $66 million last year, while imports jumped 11 per cent to $606m.
With that in mind, the Italy Consulate in Perth has co-organised the Italian Innovation Days from March 20-21, where five of Italy’s top start-ups will pitch to WA companies, investors and educational institutions in the hope of establishing business ties.
Consul of Italy in Perth David Balloni says five sectors – construction, energy, space, medtech and agritech – were identified as areas the WA economy is exploring, so five Italian companies were selected to represent the best in innovation and technology to present in WA.
Balloni says while WA is keen to do business in Italy, the perception of Italy as a place where innovation takes place was not strong.
“We are well known for our food here, our beautiful cities and regions but not many people know that Italy has a strong tradition over the centuries in innovation,” he says.
“This year we celebrate the 500th year since the death of one of the most important innovators ever – Leonardo da Vinci – you can image the tradition we have in this field is quite consistent and important.
“So we thought we should let WA know what we can do on this. Other states in Australia know this already, such as that we are building the biggest solar plant in Australia, in South Australia.”
Balloni, who says the initiative has been going since 2016 but will be held for the first time in WA, says B2B sessions were also available with the five companies.
CCIWA’s Trade and Investment Centre (ITIC) Manager Michael Carter says WA and Italy both have highly developed and complementary economies.
“Both WA and Italy can share the opportunity to have closer collaboration across sectors like security, astrophysics and space projects,” he says.
“As the European Union’s fourth largest economy and a founding member of the EU, it makes sense for WA business to pursue the bilateral trade and investment opportunities with Italy.”
Carter says ITIC has seen a significant uplift in the number of Certificates of Origins it has issued to WA companies exporting to Italy across a broader range of goods including agribusiness, processed foods, advanced manufactured components and mineral commodities.
“To date we have issued Certificates of Origin to more than 50 WA companies so far this year,” he says.
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