ROME, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Italian region of Apulia -- the "heel" on Italy's boot-shaped peninsula -- had its own stand at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in each of the last two years.
Financial restraints related to the economic slowdown sparked by the coronavirus pandemic will prevent Apulia from having its own stand at CIIE this year, but Francesco Muciaccia, local official responsible for promoting the region to the markets outside the European Union, told Xinhua lately that the region will still be represented by multiple companies and other entities.
According to officials from the region, Apulia aims to be one of the country's top regions in terms of far-sightedness.
"We know that as a region we have a great deal to offer," said Muciaccia. "But we don't have the name recognition of some other parts of the country and so the challenge is to get people to notice." Muciaccia named beaches, historical and cultural sites, cuisine, and festivals among the region's best attractions.
In each of the last two years, a prominent spot at the CIIE has been a big part of that strategy.
At last year's edition of CIIE, 30 of the 170 Italian companies at the fair were from Apulia, which had its own 144-square-meter stand promoting the region with a sign above the entryway reading "The Luxury of Feeling Good," a reference to many those attractions.
"The Chinese market is a priority for us, whether in terms of promoting the region for potential visitors or distributors and vendors for our products or helping to create an image for the region," Muciaccia said.
The strategy to promote the region is not limited to participation in the expo. Muciaccia said Apulia is active on Chinese social media sites. But the CIIE has been at the center.
The third CIIE will take place in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10. Enditem