Do We Really Need It? morning I received an email from the Istituto Commercio Estero [Institute of Foreign Commerce] that invited me to compile a form, towards avoiding the suppression of the so-called Organization by the new cuts proposed by Tremonti.

I will not sign it, for the following reasons:

– The ICE is a State agency and represents Italian politics, therefore it is no good. Since I started working actively in my family’s business (which has more than 70% foreign sales), I have never seen a coherent and steadfast strategy; my experiences have never been stirring. The ICE has always had a lot of money at its disposal, but this has almost always been managed poorly.

– Chamber of Commerce, Consortiums, ICE, Regions, Foreign Provincial Centres, but how many organizations need to be in place to help exports? Perhaps one would be enough?

– Lacking the concrete, one organizes fairs, events, but the main objective is to communicate public turnout, more than thinking of the effective contacts made by the businesses.

-The directors of the ICE act for political reasons, not for reasons of merit.

There are obviously exceptions of steadfast and intelligent support work, but they represent the minority and are strictly tied to the good sense of the secretaries and managers.

By this point all businesses are capable of putting themselves in relation with foreign countries and clients through the Internet and with the support of the Consortia, more and more businesses are joining together to face markets, thanks to the subsidies of the European OCM wine contributions.  I believe that the economic effort needs to focus on new markets, ones that are complex and future-oriented, like China, Russia and India, and above all the protection of the brand. This last point is undervalued, but it is fundamental to have Italian businesses start from a position of advantage with respect to the other wine countries.

In conclusion, what Italy needs more than cuts is to qualify the people who represent it, in all sectors. Abolishment is relatively important; what is fundamental is the replacement of the executive class with men of skill and good sense. Are there any left? I think that there are, but political corruption unfortunately keeps them far away.

Have you also had experience with the ICE? Tell me about it.