Italy: on May 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an online meeting titled Perception of Italian productive excellence abroad”. The meeting was the occasion to present Be-Italy”, a large-scale survey carried out by researech firm Ipsos to assess the attractiveness of the country. The event was opened by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio and Director-General for the Promotion of the Country System, Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni.

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Nando Pagnoncelli © Massimiliano Stucchi

The President of Ipsos, Nando Pagnoncelli, presented the finding of the survey. Polls were carried out in 18 diffferent countries, and involved 500 people in each country. Besides analyzing the reputation of the country and its international image, the survey focused on the perception of Made in Italy and italian brands and companies.

The decision to commission a study on the international perception of the country comes, as Mr. Di Maio saidfrom a simple consideration: Italy isn’t just a cultural superpower, heir to an extraordinary historical heritage: we are also an incubator of high technology, progress, innovation”. Made in Italy isn’t just fashion, or food: italian companies excel also in high-value-added industrial sectors, such as precision mechanics, the biopharmaceutical and the nautical sector. Therefore, according to Mr. Di Maio, we need “to build a modern narrative of ourselves as an industrial and manifacturing power”.

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Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio

The findings of the survey carried out by Ipsos are interesting: Italy appears to be the third most known country in the world (45% of participants), after the US (49%) and the UK (47%). Also, Italy is the country that is associated the most with innovation, creativity, and quality of life, more than Canada, Australia, China and the US. And finally, when asked “if you won a vacation, where would you like to go?”, 37% of participants answered “Italy”, while 32% would have preferred to go to the US and 31% to Australia.

Italy’s popularity and good reputation is an important asset to italian businesses and Made in Italy products, and represent a good starting point for the objectives identifyted by Mr. Di Maio.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Class CNBC jounalist Jole Saggese. Carlo Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency, Barbara Beltrame Giacomello, vice president of Confindustria and Luisa Todini, President of the Comitato Leonardo discussed the findings with representatives of trade assotiations of many industries, such as fashion, agrifood, sportswear as well as the mechanical and pharmaceutical industries.

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Undersecretary of State Manlio Di Stefano

Concluding the event, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Internationalization Manlio Di Stefano underlined the important coordination effort made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Italian companies over the last year. “Working on the image [of the country] abroad but also in Italy creates synergy opportunities and opens up many possibilities”, said Mr. Di Stefano.