Promos Italia launches the first platform for online B2B meetings between Italian companies and International buyers

The first “Digital InBuyer China” event kicks off June 16 with a focus on the Chinese market

The consequences of Covid-19 are redesigning International economic balances, reshaping commercial trends and determining new methodologies for approaching export activities. Among these, one of the new frontiers is the virtual business matching among companies and Promos Italia –  the Italian national agency for the internationalization of the chamber system – is the first in Italy to launch a dedicated platform.

The first project to kick off on this new platform is “Digital InBuyer China“, which puts in contact selected buyers from the Chinese market with Italian suppliers interested in exporting to this very important market, which, although strategic for Italy, is also one of the most challenging to penetrate.

The initiative, carried out together with the Chamber of Commerce of Milan Monza Brianza Lodi and with the support of important partners such as NetcommChinaEU, ICBC Milan and CIPA – China Investment Promotion Agency – consists in three digital weeks dedicated to the Chinese market, involving three sectors of excellence of the Made-in-Italy production:

•  16-18 June –Furniture Digital  Incoming Week

•  30 June-2 July – Fashion Digital Incoming Week

•  14-17 July – Cosmetics Digital Incoming Week

Joining the project are over 150 Italian companies from the three sectors of reference, who will meet online around 60 Chinese professional buyers selected by ICBC branches. The first appointment, dedicated to the furniture sector and taking place on 16-18 June, will see the participation of 20 Chinese buyers and 36 Italian suppliers.

A project born out of the emergency brought by Covid19, which canceled the traditional channels to internationalization, such as professional trade fairs and offline B2B events, which were the most common approaches to International markets until just a few months ago. “Digital InBuyer China” represents the evolution of the InBuyer project, an initiative of Promos Italia, which since 2015 facilitated 4000 Italian companies to meet 1100 international buyers in over 18000 B2B meetings.

“The fallout from Covid-19 has forced us to accelerate the innovation of processes and methods to support the internationalization of businesses, making digital tools an indispensable element, as envisaged also by the Pact for Export, presented a few days ago by the Italian Government – explains Giovanni Da Pozzo , President of Promos Italia – Thanks to this virtual platform, we are the first in Italy to enable entrepreneurs to start or consolidate International relations even at a time when it is not possible to travel or participate in traditional promotional events.”

“In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to stand alongside our companies in initiating and consolidating International business processes, promoting innovative solutions to encourage exports leveraging the great opportunities offered by digital technologies – explains Elena Vasco, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan Monza Brianza Lodi – With Digital InBuyer China, the Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting, through a dedicated platform of virtual meetings, commercial relations between our entrepreneurs and Chinese counterparts, continuing to invest in this important strategic market for Italy”.

The choice to dedicate the first appointments to China is not coincidental. China is the first market to emerge from the Coronavirus emergency and its economy is the only one in the world from which a substantial demand for Made-in-Italy products is re-starting, a demand that in 2019 meant 13 billion euros of Italian exports to the most important Asian market. This is an important opportunity for Italian companies to deepen their knowledge of this market and to meet potential Chinese buyers comfortably from their office or from their home, therefore at considerably lower costs than participating in a fair and with lower risks. In the coming months, however, the project will be extended to other strategic International markets for Italian commercial relations.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has hit the global economy in a strong and unprecedented manner and this important challenge can only be overcome by working together – explains Li Bin, Minister Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to Italy – On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to thank Promos Italia, the Chamber of Commerce of Milan Monza Brianza Lodi, ChinaEU, Netcomm, ICBC and CIPA for creating this digital platform, committing to restarting the commercial activity of SMEs from China and from Italy, two countries with strong economic complementarities and great cooperative potential.”

“With Digital InBuyer China, the Made-in-Italy ecosystem has given proof and courage to be able to transform a challenge never seen before into a great opportunity, building a virtual match-making portal which today can replace foregone B2B traditional events yet allowing the generation of new business contacts, but which tomorrow may become the norm in supporting professional fairs, in a truly online-offline multi-channel perspective – comments Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU – I am confident of the success of this operation which, carried out by solid and forward-looking partners, I also hope will result synergetic with the program of the third China International Import Expo 2020.”

“Netcomm has understood for several years the extraordinary potential of building a bridge with the Chinese market – comments Roberto Liscia, President of Netcomm, who continues – The unprecedented evolutionary leap towards digitalization that Italy has experienced precisely during this health crisis has led companies to consider the multi-channel development of their offer, also and especially towards International markets such as China, no longer as an option, but as a necessity. We believe that the project developed for Promos Italia can be a model for other similar initiatives, aimed at promoting the re-launch of Made in Italy exports.”

“Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, present in Italy since 2011, contributes with its Milan and Rome branches to the development of the Italian economy and to the strengthening of the consolidated friendship between the two countries, which share a millennial history alongside a great culture and a leading position in the global geo-economic scenario – explains Wei Xiaogang General Manager of ICBC Milan – In deciding to participate in this important project, Digital InBuyer China, the Bank intends to offer an important contribution to the International development of Italian SMEs in one of the most dramatic moments in their history.”

“China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) is committed to promoting trade and investments to and from China, creating a bridge for cooperation between Chinese and foreign companies. Digital InBuyer China project has exactly this spirit, so we decided to collaborate on the initiative alongside Promos Italia – says Li Yong, Deputy Director of CIPA – We are convinced that Italy and China trade relations have great growth potential and that this is the right time to make it happen “

To participate to the opening session tomorrow, June 16 (9: 00-10: 30):


Below is the program of the opening session:

Furniture Digital InBuyer China

9:00-10:30_Opening remarks

–        Andrea Bonalumi, Director of Digital Services at Promos Italia

–        Li Bin, Minister Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at Chinese Embassy to Italy

–        Li Yong, Deputy Director of CIPA – China Investment Promotion Agency

–        Sergio Miele, Senior Business Consultant at ICBC Milan Branch

–        Massimo Moscatelli, Vice-President of Confartigianato Como

–        Qian Kainan, Director of Europe at JD.com

–        Chen Jie, Business Diretcor of Hangu at Longshine Group

–        Giulio Finzi, Head of Netcomm China

–        Claudia Vernotti, Director of ChinaEU

Project partners:

– ChinaEU – European association aimed at promoting public-private partnerships, commercial cooperation and investments in digitization processes and high tech sectors between Chinese and European companies;

 Netcomm – the Italian consortium of digital commerce, the most relevant reference point in the fields of electronic commerce and the digital evolution of companies at the national and international level;

– ICBC – the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of largest credit institutions in the world, present with two branches in Italy, Rome and Milan, and it has long been involved in organizing high-quality B2B appointments between Chinese and International companies. ICBC is also an official partner of the China International Import Expo, the largest trade fair in China dedicated exclusively to the import of foreign products and services, which this year will be held on November 5-10;

– China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) – the office of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) dedicated to the promotion of investments of Chinese companies abroad and foreign companies in China.

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