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The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK

Composing a commemorative introduction page to mark one hundred and thirty years of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom would be easy. As a pro tempore Ambassador, I could describe, as previously done by all my predecessors, how the ultra centenary activity of the Chamber benefited bilateral trade relations. I can confirm this because I had the privilege to witness the work of the Chamber in two different periods of my career, having worked in London both in 2000s and in recent years. However, the purpose of this introduction is different. It wants to emphasize the values that inspire the activity of the Italian Chamber of Commerce. My goal is to summarize in these introductory lines, not only the evolution of a dynamic business community and its influence on the relations between Italy and the UK, but also its willingness to be in line with the times, or even to be ahead.

Interpreting and anticipating the times is precisely the feature of the Chamber of Commerce which firstly comes to mind.

It is an intrinsic feature of an association that gathers Italian and British entrepreneurs daily facing the market challenges. This feature is matched with the coherence that distinguishes this Chamber from others.

Of course, the context is favourable. London and the UK offer a unique dynamism: forward-thinking, constant challenges, and the ability to grab opportunities as they arise.
However Italian entrepreneurship plays an important role, too. An entrepreneurship which embodies the distinctive qualities of “Made in Italy”, which knows how to interact extraordinarily well with British and Global counterparts, and shares its successes with those of the Chamber.
In addition, it was also thanks to the leadership of the Chamber. It is a leadership that has never stopped focusing on young talent and not on "experts”, on innovation and not on tradition, on unexplored business sectors and not on consolidated markets, on the future challenges to face and not on the past achievements, on teamwork and not individualism. This approach has been led by the long term vision of President Leonardo Simonelli Santi and the Board of Directors.
It is a winning formula that has allowed this institution to witness and be a major player of excellent bilateral relationships. It has helped to interpret business trends in both directions, for better and for worse, which have distinguished the economic relations between them.
Flexible and open-minded attitude is required today more than ever following the Brexit vote.
The United Kingdom is expected not only to find the best deal possible with the EU, but to re-launch its economy and identify a new productive strategy: a real national project whose important economic partners like Italy will have to contribute, in order to consolidate economic integration, a substantial part of globalization that no referendum can delete.
The Chambers of Commerce, both in Italy and abroad, will be asked to provide an additional effort of representativeness, protection of members interests, but also insightful analysis.
I admire the Chamber because it operates not only with the prestige and experience of a blue chip, but with the humility, team spirit and desire to emerge of a start-up. I wish the best to this institution for one hundred and thirty years of success and for one hundred and thirty years more.
I suggest, instead, to the readers not to look for a celebration of the past, but to search for inspiration and to always take a challenge, as has been done by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in UK for the past one hundred and thirty years.


Pasquale Q. Terracciano

Ambassador of Italy to London

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