By Ian Ross
Anyone pursuing an overseas business connection, planning a vacation or simply wanting to learn more about Italy can get a taste of that country's economic climate, culture and cuisine during a one-day information session at Cambrian College in Sudbury.
The consul general of Italy is expected among the slate of speakers delivering a primer course on how businesses in Northern Ontario can develop bilateral trade opportunities with Italy and gain access to the European Union market.
Sonia Del Missier, Cambrian's vice-president of strategic development, says the May 16 session at the Barrydowne Road campus represents a first step in forging stronger ties with Italy and the Italian community in Sudbury.
"Our intent is to determine if there is sufficient interest to go beyond the one-day workshop, possibly in mounting a trade mission to Italy next year," Del Missier says.
It's a great opportunity for local businesses to develop some initial contacts and gain some general information that might lead to joint-venture opportunities and eventually technology transfers, she adds.
Cambrian had previously established links with Italy during a 1995 trade mission to Milan, which was attended by about 30 Northern Ontario companies.
Often overlooked as a major trading partner, Italy has the world's fifth largest industrial economy. According to a United States Department of Commerce profile, Italy offers many opportunities for North American firms as a viable destination for exports and investment.
The morning sessions will delve into the business and trade opportunities found in Italy while afternoon sessions
will focus on culture, tourism and educational opportunities.