business

Birmingham explores Milan trade links at Expo in città

Team from the city will meet with representatives to explore stronger trade links between Birmingham and Milan

Beverley Nielsen from BCU helped organise the trip to Expo in città

A 50-strong delegation from the city will descend on Italy this week to join this year's Expo in città, a project put together by Milan's Chamber of Commerce.

Birmingham was invited to attend the event by the mayor of Milan who wrote to city council leader Sir Albert Bore.

Senior academics, business leaders, students and creative sector representatives will be in Italy until Friday to take part in the event.

Coun Tahir Ali, the city council's cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, is scheduled to meet with representatives from Consigliere di Milano, Municipe di Milano and the British Consul in Milan to explore stronger trade links between the two cities.

Birmingham City University (BCU) representatives are due to meet with Politecnico di Milano and senior design representatives including Design Council chief executive John Mathers.

Beverley Nielsen, of BCU and its Birmingham Made Me Design Expo, which takes place in June, played a key role in organising the trip.

"The rationale for the visit, at least as far as (business-university collaboration) Idea Birmingham members were concerned, was for Birmingham as a city to learn more about how Milan has built a strong reputation through strong associations with the companies based there," she said.

"As a result, we have managed to arrange visits to Italian manufacturers and design-led companies, including Alessi and M&Z Rubinetterie.

"We are also pleased to be working with Enterprise Europe Network and our programme includes a networking session between Birmingham, Midlands and Milanese businesses."

The Birmingham Made Me 2015 Capsule Expo features a range of products designed by BCU students of fashion, jewellery, 3D design and interiors, alongside products from companies including Macmaster Design, Sitting Firm, James Plant, Acme Whistles, Tibor fabric prints and Monique Lee Millinery.

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