Italian companies operating in Zimbabwe recently met in Harare under the auspices of the Italian Embassy to discuss ways of strengthening business ties in the growing economy.
During the meeting, Italian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Stefano Moscatelli expressed his appreciation for work done in the past. He emphasised the need for improved co-ordination among the Italian companies in order to boost the "Made in Italy" brand in Zimbabwe.
In his address to representatives of Italian companies that attended the meeting, Ambassador Moscatelli said: "There are some difficulties to overcome in Zimbabwe's business sector, however, we must all continue to work towards strengthening relations with local authorities.
"We recommend continued participation in events such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and the Harare Agricultural Show to promote your companies and to take advantage of the positive public platform created by local authorities. The embassy will assist in any possible way."
The meeting was held on the sidelines of a recent visit to Harare by head office delegations of Italian companies Ansaldo Energia, Red Graniti, International Graniti and Bagnara for meetings with their Zimbabwean partners and stakeholders.
Ansaldo Energia, which is involved in Hwange Power Station operations, was in the country for a meeting with the Zimbabwe Power Company. Red Graniti, International Graniti and Bagnara are involved in granite extraction and manufacturing. The visit by these high-powered business delegations from Italy was intended to meet with and strengthen relations with Zimbabwean authorities.
The Embassy of Italy took advantage of the visit by the delegations to organise a business meeting with other major Italian companies and brands operating in Zimbabwe. Representatives from 12 companies attended the meeting. These included Afrisun Marketing, CRG Quarries, International Graniti, Iveco, Pirelli Tyres, Salini Construction and Landini Tractors.
The visit and meeting of the companies come in the wake of the successful exhibition run by the Embassy of Italy at this year's edition of the Zimbabwe International
Trade Fair. Some of the companies that exhibited at ZITF include Tarrys (the official dealers of Landini Tractors), Ansaldo Energia, Red Graniti and Pirelli Tyres.
As a follow-up to the strides made at ZITF 2012, Italian businesses are set to boost their participation at the embassy's "Made in Italy" stand at the Harare Agricultural Show.
This year's show will run from August 17 to 25 and companies also taking part will include Iveco, New Holland, Silica Mining Consumables, Lamberti, Pemo Pump, CEP Chimica Edile Production and Confiplast.
A number of these companies have made major contributions to the development of infrastructure in this country, dating back to the construction of the Kariba Dam.
Italian companies and brands have a long history of a strong presence in Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Moscatelli ended the meeting by encouraging Italian companies to work together towards the common goal of ensuring a continued presence in Zimbabwe for further business expansion and increased investments.