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Italian Prime Minister Opens Pitti Uomo

Matteo Renzi opened the international trade show in Florence with an inaugural speech on Tuesday.

FLORENCE — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi opened international trade show Pitti Uomo here Tuesday, focusing on the need to exalt Italy’s heritage.

“In the last few years, Italy hasn’t been able to talk about its history, its heritage, its peculiarities, so our mission is to tell people what Italy really is in a completely new way — and the expo will offer us a great chance,” said Renzi, who, along with the ministry for economic development, supported this edition of Pitti Uomo with an investment of 2 million euros, or $2.7 million at current exchange.

This story first appeared in the June 18, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In addition, the prime minister made a plea to the banks that they return to give access to credit to Italian small and medium-sized companies and promised that the government will simplify the bureaucracy “to promote the renovations of those infrastructures which are currently blocked.”

Carlo Calenda, the Italian vice minister for economic development, also attended the press conference, where he revealed that next season the government will provide the same financial aid to Pitti Uomo, along with supporting an additional 15 trade shows in the country, including jewelry fair Vicenzaoro.

“Italy is the only country in Europe that has preserved its manufacturing business and the entire production chain,” Calenda said. “What makes our country unique is that here creativity, craftsmanship and production perfectly coincide.”

Sistema Moda Italia president Claudio Marenzi highlighted that, in the first quarter of 2014, revenues for the Italian fashion and textile business were up 2.3 percent compared with 2013, and the industry expects to close the year with sales up 3.6 percent compared with the previous year to 52 billion euros, or $70.4 billion.

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