Interview with Riccardo Maria Monti

BDB Network

What is the real added value of a structure like BDB?

International development is a very complex, specialized and time-consuming profession. Almost always the manager and the entrepreneur have difficulty in doing it alone and for this reason it’s important to rely on professionals. This is both from a global point of view and for individual geographical areas.
It often happens that some companies have a very strong and rooted presence in historical markets such as Germany, England or the United States, but at the same time, they have great difficulties to operate in still developing countries. For this, we need structures like BDB.

How much can be done to help companies in South Italy to emerge in international markets?

South Italy is penalized by many factors but the predominant one is the geographical position, because the European market, which is worth 60% of exports, is far away.
For example, for a Sicilian company it could be difficult to reach Switzerland or Slovenia because of the 1.500Km to cover; on the contrary, a Lombard company is more facilitated thanks to the few kilometers of distance.
Another difference is that relating to export logistics: ports and infrastructure are less developed in the South, often the value of money is higher and from a dimensional point of view, the financial ecosystem is weak, so all of these disadvantages mean that companies in the South need more professional support in order to focus on export.

How does international market change at a time like the one we are facing now?

With the collapse of the European economy, the international markets have become increasingly important in the last year. Fortunately the export has survived this tragic period, in fact, the food sector in 2020 has grown compared to 2019.
In addition, China is the fastest growing country in the world, also because it has significantly reduced travel abroad and the Chinese consumer, who was used to buying goods and services during his travels outside the country, now is inclined to buy them in China.
For this reason, the Chinese country is in a boom phase.
Another country in recovery is undoubtedly the United States, from which we expect a very fast restart as there is a great propensity to consumption, in fact, American refreshment points in the last few months are worth $2 trillion.
To conclude we can say that we expect this strong restart from the United States, but we also expect a continuous and stable growth of the Chinese market.

BDB is creating an increasingly rooted network in different areas of the world. Why is it important that this initiative is born from Italian managers with worldwide experience?

When we talk about International Business Development we talk about a very important concept: the trust!
When the counterparts are from thousands of miles away it becomes enormously complicated if there is no trust.

The idea of BDB was born with a friendly and professional meeting with Fulvio Italiano. After your experience as President of ICE (Italian Trade Agency) do you believe that BDB Network can be considered by the other players in the consultancy field a new opportunity to offer additional services to their clients?

Definitively, I think the worldwide presence of a team of professionals, who have very different but yet senior experiences is a great value. The entrepreneurial spirit of Fulvio Italiano has certainly been the glue of an ecosystem of professionals around the world who first have the pleasure of working together and have complementary experiences both from the point of view of the different sectors and also of the geographies they preside over.

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