This week I had the pleasure and the honour of being able to pose a few questions to the Italian ambassador here in Lithuania Stefano Taliani de Marchio. Given the extraordinary presence of Italy in this country and especially the curiosity that Lithuanians demonstrate particularly for some branches of Italian economy, its traditions and culture, I wondered how to create and maintain such an enduring partnership.
The bonds that exist between these two countries go back many centuries ago when Italian architects and sculptors have contributed to bring a touch of Baroque in these cold northern lands. Many are the churches of the capital boasting Italian architects or builders indeed. Perhaps even more are those exposing frescoes or paintings of Italian artists more or less famous. The embassy in particular has contributed to the publication of a book containing the work of all these artists. This book enclosed it in a single work how Italy has influenced with its own style art and architecture of this country.
Yet, to switch to the current activities of the embassy it makes the promotion of Italian culture and business one of the cornerstones of its action, obviously without taking into account the political activity that characterizes the very function of the embassy in itself, which as previously stressed at this time is particularly intense due to both the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in one hand and in the other Milan Expo 2015. As per protocol in July were submitted to the Seimas, the Lithuanian Parliament, all the priorities designed by the Italian Government for this presidency and largely shared also in Vilnius. Without delving into the intricacies of purely political matters and continuing to analyse the characters of this collaboration is evident that one of the largest and most profitable areas is that of business promotion. Even in Lithuania, whose economy is now in a phase of rapid expansion, the sectors that have greater significance in the market are certainly those of agrifood and fashion. Italian foods in the world continue to carry high the flag of our country and there are many restaurants, for the most part managed by countrymen that offer menus whose products are fully imported. Therefore even in supermarkets for the mass distribution, wines and the food coming directly from the “bel paese” are numerous. Italy in order to deepen the knowledge of our delicacies is always present with a pavilion at the most important food fairs of the area. Eventually the real diamond drill of our exports is fashion.
Italy is, in general, the sixth largest supplier of this small republic despite the geographical distance. Whereas the five countries ahead are all located on the borders or at least in continental Europe and neighbouring, Italy stands out in this sense because his export is not represented by replaceable good but rather by products that have an high added value in itself.
Famous Italian fashion brands are all present with spectacular shops along the streets of the centre, but also minor firms are heading north where however the taste and class of Italian touch is recognized and appreciated.
The promotion of business and the Italian brand is capillary in the whole country, next spring will be held the exhibition called “Make in Italy” that will be a three day fair marked by fashion together with firm and meetings in the halls of Rotuse.
The embassy is always in the forefront for promotion of contemporary art and culture. Several Italian artists exhibit in the most renowned and prestigious gallery of the Nation. Next March will be also organized a festival of Italian cinema to make known abroad the huge machine that the world of movies sets in motion.
Finally it is absolutely necessary to underline that there is so much Italy in Lithuania and in Vilnius and especially the interest for this ancient rooted tradition is here so still alive. Keep this flame burning, that materially means greater flows of trade and tourism to and from both countries, is a task that requires a deep knowledge of your partner and the best techniques of communication and promotion.
Obviously the embassy also offers consular services for all compatriots. For whom need care services exist emergencies numbers that allow you to have an open line with Italy.