Italian business in Russia: the nuances that help companies to be successful
Northern Russia, where it is always cold, varies from southern Italy, where it is always hot, but Russians and Italians definitely have things in common. And they have significant common interests.
In private conversations and according to “unofficial sources”, representatives of Italian business continue to complain about the sanctions that caused the serious decline in trading and economic relations in 2015-2016. However, in 2017 there was already a perceptible restoration of economic ties and growth in exports that increased in the first three quarters of 2017 by 22.6% compared to the same period in 2016 (according to the Italian statistics department Istat).
On the Russian market — the Italian companies employing Russian designers
The interests of the two countries intersect in the oil and gas sector (Maire Tecnimont Group of Companies), in mechanical engineering (Saipem), pharmaceuticals (Menarini Group) and the food industry (Ferrero). Russia has been Italy's second biggest trading partner after Germany for many years. In the interior sector the Russian market includes a large number of furniture and textile companies (Federlegno Arredo), lighting (Leucos, Artemide Group), ceramics (Marazzi), household appliances (Indesit) and much more besides. You can see Italian furniture in virtually all the Russian premium segment interiors. However, the ideas are not always Italian. Russian architects and designers create prototypes for numerous Italian companies. For example, Meralstudio (Evgeny Polyantsev’s architectural studio) has cooperated for a long time with Italian factories – they have designed furniture for the Italian factories Emmemobili and Galimberti Nino.
Fresko table (Emmemobili, design by Evgeniy Polyantsev). Photo from www.emmemobili.it
Dmitry Loginov, who submitted a bathroom project as part of the Bathroom Biennale project at WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild 2018, has also worked with Italian companies. In his time he designed lights for Artemide and Studio Italia Design, and conceived modular sofas for the Italian company Artex. The list of successful Russian architects and designers, who cooperate with Italian manufacturers of furniture, lights and items of décor, can also be expected to continue for a long time to come.
Soho Bathroom cabinet (Mia Italia, Dmitry Loginov's design). Photo from miaitaliabath.it
Finding new people and new ideas is a trend in recent years, and it is attributable not only to the keen interest of consumers, but also to economic factors. Our young designers showcase their projects more and more frequently in Milan and Paris, while companies implement their prototypes in production – original concepts. However, the work of Russian top players is worth slightly less than the work of Italian, French and Scandinavian “stars”.
A feature of our mentality or what drives our interest in Italy
However, many specialists believe that the links of the two countries – Italy and Russia – are deeper than a purely commercial partnership. “We noted that, despite the geographical remoteness of Russia and Italy, the two countries are not that far apart when it comes to style and taste”, says Roberto Danezi, General Director of door manufacturer Fadex. ‘And this proximity is not only the basis for our business on the Russian market, but also applies to numerous other aspects, such as fashion, food, and lifestyle in general. When we talk to Russians, we don’t feel major differences in our overall vision of the world.”
Roberto Danezi attributes the interest of Russian consumers in Italian manufacturers to historical and cultural ties: “Russians are extremely interested in our history and traditions, while numerous architects and artists have been invited to Russia in the past to implement different projects: this has helped to make Italy and Russia so close with similar tastes in a large number of areas.”
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