ROME, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Ranging from food and beverage to logistics, and from medical equipment to quality of life, a very varied group of some 90 Italian firms led by the Italy-China Foundation were ready to display at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10.
Their delegation represents the largest presence of Italian exhibitors to the fair, which was seen as a key chance to boost business and contacts with the Chinese counterparts, the foundation said in a statement on Monday.
Overall, Italy was expected to be present there with about 160 exhibitors.
"The first edition (of the CIIE) was a novelty, and we expect this second one to be a confirmation," Italy-China Foundation Director General Vincenzo Petrone stressed.
He explained most Italian SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) largely benefited from last year's experience -- also those without a consolidated presence on the Chinese market -- and provided a positive feedback.
Thus, the number of participants swelled.
"The group we led last year was made of some 30 companies, and we have now grown to about 90," Petrone told Xinhua.
"We also count on a crucial novelty this year, which is our collaboration at the CIIE with Italy's state lender and investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) as a group," he added.
This would mean opportunities and information coming from the CIIE will be available for a larger audience of Italian firms, Petrone explained, including CDP-linked big companies such as Sace (Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero) and Simest.
Overall, the second CIIE will welcome exhibitors from 64 countries.
Italy will be one of the 15 guest countries of honor of the second CIIE, and the Italian Trade Agency would manage the institutional presence of the country at the nation pavilion.
Italy-China Foundation together with Italy-China Chamber of Commerce and Italian Foreign Trade Association jointly coordinates the collective presence of Italian firms at the CIIE.