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Italian generic cancels Vinexpo space

Published:  23 July, 2008

Seven weeks from the upcoming Vinexpo 2005, ICE (Istituto Nazionale per il Commercio Estero), Italy's institute for external trade, has informed Vinexpo organisers that ICE, sponsor of Italy's collective hall, is cancelling its participation.

The situation was precipitated, in March, by ICE's realisation that the area proposed did not correspond to its specifications. Meetings between embassies and lawyers followed, but to no avail. The chief executive of the biennial show, Robert Beynat, said ICE's decision was a great disappointment to us'.

The decision was taken by ICE's board of directors, presided over by Beniamino Quintieri and supported by the Ministry of External Trade,' said Stefano Raimondi, who is responsible for ICE's wine trade and is based in ICE's Rome headquarters.

According to Raimondi, long negotiations have been taking place between ICE and Vinexpo regarding a central area of 1,100m2 located in Hall 1, destined for the exhibit of Italian wine under the ICE umbrella.

ICE is cancelling its participation on the grounds that the exhibition area proposed by Vinexpo is too fragmented, small and disparaging to Italy's image,' said Raimondi. Italy has been exhibiting at Vinexpo for the past 13 years and is Vinexpo's most important client in terms of exhibition space.'

Beynat added: At the beginning of negotiations, Vinexpo made it clear that it would not be possible to house all Italian exhibitors in the centre of Hall 1. The exhibition has always maintained its policy of not putting all exhibitors from one country together, but rather of spreading them out around the exhibition. Consequently, French, Spanish, Chilean and American exhibitors are also housed in different exhibition halls.'

According to a spokesperson for Vinexpo, all the exhibitors who were taking space as part of the Italian pavilion have contacted Vinexpo and measures are already in place to reorganise the Italian presence.