FederlegnoArredo sets its sights on internationalization

Through seven major projects, FederLegnoArredo is launching its international promotion plan: a new approach to the markets to support companies and to help them seize concrete business opportunities

Yes to internationalization, but be wary. If exports are the only possible future for Italian companies, they should be approached with foresight and strategy. FederlegnoArredo has issued this warning, which is also the basis of the new International Promotion Plan initiated by the industry association.

It is a rich, ambitious program that focuses on real, concrete possibilities for companies.

The Plan consists of seven projects for seven geographic macro-areas, 14 parallel B2B missions and a single, major goal: to penetrate new foreign markets in search of potential customers and partnerships, creating stable ties with local operators.

The federation led by Roberto Snaidero has selected specific markets of interest: China, Sub-Saharan Africa, USA and the UK, the MENA area, Russia and post-Soviet countries, South East Asia and India. The activities that the projects involve are very clear: companies approaching a new country will be provided with all-round support for their B2B missions, namely consultancy in the target country and in Italy, business procurement, trade fairs and extra-fair incoming activities, follow-ups and much more.

The Plan, presented last week at the FederlegnoArredo headquarters in Foro Buonaparte, has a particular focus on the MENA, Africa and United States regions. Three areas of interest whose GDP is growing steadily and is forecast to continue growing at the same considerable rate over the coming years.

«Italy is no longer a major market and indeed it is no longer possible to just depend on one country or simply focus on exports – stresses Roberto Cuneo, Head of International Promotion – We need to diversify and to implement a conscious internationalization strategy. Consequently, we intend to support companies with an extended project, offering a wealth of consultancy to enable them to approach the whole world in the best possible way».

The areas of interest. The Plan starts with the MENA (North Africa and the Middle East) area, which encompasses a variety of very different countries, many of which have enormous potential. Saudi Arabia and the UAE first and foremost, as well as Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. Areas where Italy is ranked first in the luxury segment.

Two major events will give a significant boost to the furnishing industry: the Universal Exhibition in Dubai in 2020 and the Qatar World Cup in 2022, as a result of which the whole hotel and residential sector is working to anticipate the influx of international visitors.

Iran is the focus of the Italian Contract Office project, promoted by Quarkup Group – a consulting firm that supports FederlegnoArredo’s missions in this market –, which intends to create a platform to support companies operating in the contract sector.

FLA’s consultancy partner for the Sub-Saharan area is the Studio Rödl & Partner firm, whose synergy and work in this region were put to the test in November with the creation of a first network of five companies for the promotion of interior design.

This region, which is characterized by enormous internal contrasts, contains areas of great commercial interest, such as Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria and Angola, due to a recently-discovered wealth of oil and gas. Cities have doubled in size (along with services, shopping centers and job opportunities), contributing to the creation of an ever-expanding middle class.

The next focus area is the New World. Growth of 8.9% in the furniture industry in the January-September 2014 period has made the US an increasingly attractive region for Italian companies, especially given the increase in the residential sector and in global constructions (the construction sector is forecast to grow by 4.9% by 2020). Many projects are being carried out in the major US cities, facilitating collaborations with leading American architectural firms. To name a few examples: the Miami Panorama Tower, the Millennium Tower in Boston, the New Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, the 609 Main at Texas in Houston and the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

To find out more about international projects, click here