Ob. OF PO FESR 2007/2013

The project, promoted by the Sicilian Region – Productive Activities Department – consistently with the operative objective 5.2.1 of the PO FESR 2007/2013, aims at promoting the enlargement and the strengthening of the regional productive system internationalization processes.

The adopted model for the development of the internationalization actions is the “GULF COUNTRIES Project”, that is a set of activities to be developed in partnership with the Target area, so as to allow an effective process of exchange of experiences, knowledge, services and products with the Emirates commercial and institutional operators.  

This with the purpose of a mutual economic and technological development of the selected economic sectors:

-       Mechanics-mechathronics;

-       Agroindustry and Tourism;

-       Textiles-clothing.


The Regional Administration, through the achievement of this Project, pursues the strategic objectives fixed in the PRINT – Regional Program for the Internationalization, in the Target Countries OMAN and ARAB EMIRATES.


This proposal arises from the need of fostering the internationalization of the productive system and of the Sicilian businesses operating in the Gulf Countries, ensuring a qualified presence in those markets and supporting on the spot those Sicilian businesses who want to acquire important market shares.

The actions provide for the greatest involvement from the Sicilian businesses, suitably chosen by the Regional Administration, making them take part in supporting enterprises and activities aiming at their introduction in the selected Target Countries excellence markets.

In fact in Sicily the small and medium local enterprises suffer a geographical and economical marginalization which increases the difficulties in entering the European and World market.

As a consequence the general objective of the regional Strategy for the internationalization and of the methodology of the Projects-Countries is to encourage the setting up of an integrated promotion and support activity and to supply the necessary tools so as to favour the creation of commercial and industrial partnerships, the internationalization of the production activities, the transfer of know-how from other regions, the establishment of permanent cooperation forms favouring a process of opening and introduction of the Sicilian productive system in the economic and social processes which develop in the other areas of the world.


 The Project general Objectives are:

 - Making the local economic operators know the various potential market areas and identify the various opportunities for starting commercial and industrial partnerships;

- Enabling the local economic operators to use the internationalization promotion methods, instruments and programs dedicated to the Small and Medium-sized enterprises;

- Promoting, informing of and spreading, through explicit activities and promoting instruments, the partnership opportunities;

- Promoting the points of contact between the local operators and the foreign buyers and importers.


The main goals, to be achieved through the organization of a set of operative tools and activities, among which missions and bilateral meetings between entrepreneurs and professionals in the selected sectors, are to:


• Acquire/transfer technologies and/or know-how among the economic operators;

• Establish financial agreements and/or joint-ventures between the enterprises;

• Introduce new products, processes or services on the reference markets according to cooperation criteria;

• Widen the Sicilian enterprises sales network;

• Decentralize production parts or phases where better opportunities of cost or supply are found;

• Increase the penetration in the Emirates and Oman markets, particularly interesting both for their GDP high growth rates and for their attention to the Made in Italy products. 


 The whole Project is made up of a set of actions all linked one to the other in order to guarantee the best outcomes and spin-off on the Sicilian enterprises in the selected sectors:

-      organization of a Technical mission in Dubai;

-      organization and participation of a Sicilian enterprises delegation to the international exhibition SIAL MIDDLE EAST 2012 dedicated to the agroindustrial sector and to B2B meetings with the Arab representatives in order to get directly in touch with the local importers and to lay the bases for future business relations;

-       organization of three incoming missions in Sicily for the target Countries operators:

a)        mechanics and mechathronics sector;

b)        Textiles and clothing sector;

c)        agroindustrial and touristic-hotel sector;

-       putting into effect an ongoing and ex-post monitoring and reporting system of the activities and results;

-       starting up of the Working Group and of a temporary organizational secretary’s office in the “Gulf Countries”;

-       divulgation action of the results of the carried out activities.



The mission’s aim is to study in depth the opportunities offered by the Target Countries market, to get contacts useful for stipulating agreements and protocols, by offering meeting opportunities between the Sicilian institutional system and the most important foreign operators in the mechanics and mechathronics sector, in order to reinforce the relationships, identify and verify the business opportunities to be developed, within the framework of the Public Administration role as facilitator of the enterprises’ internationalization.

The institutional mission, therefore, aims at fixing the conditions for the drawing up of medium-long term agreements and protocols, so as to make the penetration of the Sicilian operators in the mechanics and mechathronics market easier.

The methods provided for the achievement of the mission objectives intend to :

• show the operators the production structure of the mechanics and mechathronics product sectors;

• gain credit for the associations, districts and/or participating manufacturers among the potential buyers or business partners in the Target Countries;

• make the negotiations starting up and their following orientation easy;

• direct the choices to make during the preparation of the incoming missions.



 The incoming missions are the natural prosecution of the technical mission. They’ll allow the achievement of the project objectives: improving the access to the international markets and strengthening the selected sectors internationalization processes. During this phase, the RTI, doesn’t only ensure the logistics but also assistance and support to the enterprises during the phases of first exploration and starting up of the internationalization processes, which are the most demanding and hazardous especially for the Small-Medium Enterprises.

3 missions have been planned:  

MISSION 1: Mechanics and mechathronics;

MISSION 2: Textiles and clothing;

MISSION 3: Agroindustrial and touristic-hotel sectors

 The objectives of each incoming mission are:

1. supporting the operators during the most critical phase, that is the first contact, making the match-making process, the first meetings and their following targeting easier;

2. carrying out, at the same time, a marketing action on the territory particularly in the touristic sector in order to make the territory more and more able to attract flows of qualified visitors;

3. analysing and highlighting the growth dynamics, the strong points and the economic cooperation opportunities in the 3 sectors, producing interest towards the high-potential sub-sectors;

4. facilitating the signing of cooperation agreements and/or contracts able to ensure the widest and effective cooperation between the involved subjects;

5. promoting the settlement of steady and lasting partnerships with qualified operators from the chosen sectors. 


The SIAL Middle East is one of the most important occasions at an international level for the agriculture and food sector and one of the most important demonstrations organized in Abu Dhabi; with reference to the 2011 edition the exhibitors reported having signed contracts worth at least US $ 350.000.000, while the promoters reported a rise of 34% in the number of participants.

 During the exhibition, B2B meetings will be organized between the representatives of the Sicilian enterprises and the previously selected local ones. In this way the participating enterprises will have the chance to communicate with the local importers directly and consider actual opportunities of business cooperation.

This event is a unique chance to develop new partnerships, motivate and develop sales networks, produce strategies to work out new business opportunities and to enter the Middle East market.

 SIAL 2011 edition in figures:

 - 466 exhibitors coming from 43 countries;

- 14 national pavilions;

- 9707 participants coming from 78 countries;

- 406 selected VIP buyers; 

- 376 participating chefs;

- 86% of exhibitors booked a stand for the following SIAL 2012 edition.