Italy - The eyes of the world were trained on the 51st edition of the Saloni, from 17th to 22nd April, which encompassed 2,700 Italian and foreign exhibitors at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, the SaloneSatellite and the biennial EuroCucina, International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition and the International Bathroom Exhibition. In figures: 331,649 visitors overall. 292, 370 sectorial operators, 3.5% up on 2011. 188,579 foreign operators making up 64.5% of the total (+5.9%), plus 103,791 Italian operators, in line with last year’s results. In addition to the sectorial operators, 6,484 members of the communications industry attended the 2012 Saloni, 5,725 of them from countries all over the world.
“These are exceptional results, especially given the prevailing bleak economic climate in the run-up to the Saloni.” said Cosmit’s President, Carlo Guglielmi. “However, our minds have been put at rest not just by the figures, but particularly by the level of exhibitor satisfaction at the very real business opportunities and the excellent operator standards. The whole thing has been a tremendous success, not just in quantitative terms. The events in the city promoting the culture of living also had a large part to play. Yet again the Saloni have proved themselves not just as a business opportunity but as a vehicle for culture, with culture at the very heart of our city-wide events.”
“Design Dance”, an event/show illustrating the story of man through design, at the Teatro dell’Arte at the Triennale di Milano, was a sell-out every evening, although a large number of people had to be turned away because of the theatre’s limited capacity. There were lengthy queues for the “skybook” installation at the Biblioteca Pinacoteca Accademia Ambrosiana, too. Both events have encited a good deal of interest from foreign cultural operators. The public also responded enthusiastically to the “MonteNapoleone Design Experience by Citroën. AUTO-MOBILI” exhibition, set against the backdrop of Milan’s most exclusive shopping street.
The entrepreneurial flair at the Saloni was much praised by the visiting dignitaries - their presence a testament to the fact that the event has become a driving force for the Italian economy - who were able to witness for themselves the creativity and efforts of the exhibiting companies at what has become the benchmark sectorial event at global level. This year’s edition was launched in the presence of the President of the Lombard Region, Roberto Formigoni and the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, and was visited during the following days by PDL leader Angelino Alfano, along with several other party members. Other leading public figures included the Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Maurizio Lupi, Confindustria President-elect Giorgio Squinzi, the Minister of the Interior, Anna Maria Cancellieri, the Minister for Economic Development, Corrado Passera and the Prime Minister, Mario Monti. The latter underscored the fundamental and symbolic role of the Saloni, as a focal point for businesses that make up 3% of the Italian manufacturing industry, and an inventive driver of crucial Italian economic growth.
FederlegnoArredo’s President, Roberto Snaidero, had this to say: “We are delighted with all that has been achieved. The results and the awareness that the Saloni generate just go to show how firmly they are established as a prime trigger for relaunching the Italian economy. We cannot lose sight, however, of the fact that businesses are going through an extremely tough time, some of them forced to close down or make staff cuts. We must stress our solidarity with the families of all those employed in all our companies, conscious of the fact that businesses and employees are all pulling together to overcome this swingeing financial crisis.
Roberto Snaidero went on to say that “the sector has again flagged up the difficulties caused by the hike in VAT to 23% to the institutions, and has again called for incentives for young people, for VAT on furnishing to be fixed at 4% for first-time buyers. We have also called resoundingly for the directive on payments to be unfrozen. The Federation has every intention of continuing to do its utmost to ensure that the trade fair continues to grow and to maintain its matchless quality from one edition to the next.”
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