The week-long Multi-Industry Addis Chamber International Trade Fair (ACITF) concluded on Wednesday with more than 50 Italian companies in attendance. Attended at its opening by government officials, business leaders and members of the dwindling Ethio-Italian community, the Italian ambassador, Giuseppe Mistretta, spoke of the importance of bilateral trade ties between Ethiopia and Italy.
Many Italian companies were represented this year and there was a heavy traffic at the fair, now in its 21st year. The fair was organized to showcase and promote made-in-Italy products to the Ethiopian market, one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
The fair also had a pavilion, opened by Assed Ziad, state minister of trade of Ethiopia, and the head of the Italian Trade Agency in Ethiopia, Simona Autuori. It was held at the Addis Ababa Exhibition Center from February 23rd to March 1st, and was a busy week of business and networking opportunities for local exporters.
The event had players from textile machinery industry, construction, industrial equipment as well as from energy and environment sectors. Companies such as Caru, Corino, Itema, Marzoli and Mei were some of the noted companies represented at the fair.
On Monday Ambassador Mistretta hosted a well-attended gathering at his residence and bestowed on Tadesse Haile, current advisor to the prime minister of Ethiopia and a former state minister of industry, an honorary recognition from the Italian Government, “Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia”.
According to him, “the recognition is one of the most prestigious awards of the Italian Republic, conferred on Mr. Haile in light of his remarkable career and for the excellent and strong connections that he helped build between the Ethiopian and Italian governments in the industrial sector.”
The event also saw Carlo Castelli, of the landmark Italian restaurant in Ethiopia, Castelli, honored with an honorary recognition from his native country for “having contributed for decades to promoting the image of Italy in Ethiopia and to strengthening the friendship and bilateral relations between Italy and Ethiopia”.
The Italian government is noted for having invested widely in Ethiopia, including in the leather industry. This is believed to “increase the competitiveness and production capacity of micro clusters and small businesses in the leather goods sector”.