Experts Weigh in on the Future of Italian Commerce

Matteo Marzotto is eager to better acquaint the world with Italian craftsmanship and hopes that show improvements will help draw him closer to that goal. “Italy has the most beautiful and exciting products in the world…and we want the world to come to VicenzaOro,” said the newly named Fiera di Vicenza president during The Future Now presentation held on Jan. 18 during the fair, which runs through Jan. 23. Marzotto was one of eight panelists including a moderator who talked about how to solve some of Italy’s biggest economic challenges, including sales and employment opportunities.

Maria Ines Aronadio, who works in the fashion and design arena of the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), spoke of supporting entrepreneurs and Italian companies exporting to other markets. “The domestic market is sleeping, so we should try to compensate with other alternatives,” she suggested.

Fulvio Peppucci pointed out the importance of Asia in Italy’s future. “Europe is sleeping, and the U.S. in the past year has done very well—their GDP is growing—but Asia is an important engine for this industry,” maintained the partner at Bain & Co.

Michele Bocchese, president of Sistema Moda, agreed. “The U.S. is not the only country—there are others better for positioning our product and with faster growth,” he said. Plus, Italy still struggles to provide opportunities to its own, which is an ecosystem based on unique manufacturing and design skills that are appreciated by many industries. An area that needs particular improvement: better telling the stories of individual companies. “This could be our advantage,” notes Bocchese.

More talk centered on ethical, traceable acquisitions of raw materials, brands—and the consumer’s growing interest in them—and more timely payments (within 30 days) in the industry. According to Marzotto, Fiera di Vicenza can play a key role in all moves. “Veneto can be the engine,” he said.