By  on April 22, 2013

MILAN — A united front is essential in the face of a difficult economy, according to Fondazione Altagamma. The Italian association of luxury goods companies presented its three-year plan Friday with the goal of strengthening its competitive edge and bringing luster back to Milan and Italy through the excellence of the country’s brands.

In his first address to the press, the association’s newly elected chairman, Andrea Illy, chairman and chief executive of coffee producer Illycaffé SpA, shared his program, which he said was approved by the association even before his candidacy. “Cooperate to be more competitive,” he urged. “Our mission is to be ambassadors of excellence in different sectors and lifestyle.” Illy outlined a partnership project between Altagamma and the government, leveraging the strength of the association’s companies and their business models, as well as their constant growth in exports compared with Italy’s decreasing gross domestic product. “The Altagamma brands have a leading effect, they create demand and this trickles down,” said Illy.

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