Italy promoting wellness as a way of living and connecting people at Expo 2020

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Italy supports Dubai Fitness Challenge 2021 and discuss solutions and challenges to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle

Dubai, UAE: Wellness as a lifestyle habit influencing relations in both social and work environment was discussed on Friday at the Italy Pavilion’s Amphitheatre at Expo 2020 Dubai during the third Innovation Talk.

Italy is an advocate of wellness, intended as a way of living that includes sport, diet, exercising, leisure, mindufullness and travel. Reflecting on the different aspects of wellbeing as a way of living, on the importance of sport and on how the sport industry is addressing new trends, the speakers presented current challenges and solutions in wellness.

Titled “The Italian Wellness: re-considering life habits of global population”, and organised by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in the UAE, the Consulate General in Dubai and the Italian Commissioner’s Office of the Italy Pavilion, the Innovation Talk was the third appointment of a series of roundtable discussions taking place until March 2022, which will address current global challenges and explore innovative solutions. 

The forum was officially opened by Paolo Glisenti, Commisioner General Italy’s Pavilion, and by Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, and was followed by a discussion on sport and wellbeing where Alessia Mariotti, Bologna Universtity, member of UNESCO/UNITWIN; Vito Cozzoli, CEO Sport and Salute; and Anna Ferrino, President of Assosport (Association of Italian sporting goods industry) shared their different points of views on the topic.

Illustrating the many dimensions of wellness, with a focus on social and environmental wellbeing, and on how industry and public sector have to work together to educate the population towards putting wellbeing at the centre, Alessia Mariotti, Bologna Universtity, member of UNESCO/UNITWIN, said: “Sports tourism is a growing sector that is strongly linked to the dimensions of well-being perceived by people;  it is a sector in which it could be useful to invest in the future within a perspective of integrated development of the territories with the contribution of both research and the public sector as well as industry and civil society.  These are the dimensions that contribute to building social well-being.”

The concept of sport has changed in the recent years and has now became a fundamental asset of daily social life; only recently sport has gained its major role not only in the lives of the individulas, but it also has an underlying role in the economy and progress of a country. 

Discussing about the link between sport and health and launching a new incubator of innovative sport startups based in Rome, Vito Cozzoli, CEO Sport and Salute, the Italian state company promoting sport, quality of life and correct lifestyle, said “Sport is not only fun, is not only an hobby, sport is a dimension of life, it could be a crucial driver for quality of life”. 

Talking about Italian sport industry, a market dominated by SMEs with a total value of 11bln euros, and its future trends, Anna Ferrino, President of Assosport (Association of Italian sporting goods industry), said: “Digitalization and sustainability are the main challenges that the Italian sport industry is facing, but Fashion contamination is also a big trend right now. 

After the global pandemic, there is a clear consciousness about the importance of wellbeing and there is a much more casual lifestyle. We see more and more fashion companies collaborating with sport brands to offer their consumers more sportive products.”

His Excellency Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, closed the panel discussion enphasizing on the connection between wellness and quality of life and putting the spotligh on how much technology and innovation are shaping and changing our lives in all the sectors – including sport, nutrition, food supplements, sportwear – and how they are contributing to face the global challenges.

The Innovation Talks are the continuation of “InnovItalyUAE” an initiative launched by The Embassy of Italy in the UAE aimed at improving the opportunities for bilateral cooperation between Italy and the United Arab Emirate.

The talk was followed by a cocktail network event with the 12 Italian start-ups and innovative SMEs that exhibited at ITA Official Pavilion at Dubai Active Show as well as the delegations of buyer coming from Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Kenya and Morocco.

About Italian Trade Agency – ITA:

The Italian Trade Agency is the Government agency which promotes the globalization of Italian firms, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ITA helps to develop, facilitate and promote Italian economic and trade relations with foreign countries, focusing on the needs of SMEs, their associations and partnerships. ITA sustains Italian firms in their internationalization process, promoting the marketing of Italian goods and services as well as the image of “Made in Italy” products around the world, while facilitating outward Italian investments and encouraging FDI attraction into Italy. ITA provides information, support and consultancy services to Italian companies on foreign markets, in order to foster exports and economic cooperation in all sectors, with the objective of increasing the effectiveness of their presence on international markets. ITA works closely with the Italian Regions, the network of Italian Chambers of Commerce, business organizations and other public and private entities. ITA’s headquarters are based in Rome and it works through a large network of offices around the world which are acknowledged as “Trade Promotion Offices” of the Embassies or Consulates of Italy.