The most recent trade mission for the “Region of Sicily Stone Project” occurred in Chicago, IL, from October 21 to 24, 2008. This overall project is aimed at finding new ways of presenting elements of the Sicilian economic/production industry into international markets. As part of this event, Sicilian delegates met with local institutions, managers and owners of private companies, as well as architects and interior designers who had expressed an interest in the project.

“In Sicily, the stone industry, along with agricultural food products, are the sectors that are most extensively involved with exports,” stated representatives of the mission. “The marble industry encompasses a vast range of production types, from very rough cut pieces to the most prestigious finished marble for decoration and restoration. Various industry products are on the market: Rough material (marble and granite), processed material/cut stone (tiles, mosaics, cubes), simple processed pieces (small blocks, paving stones, curbstones), and slate.”

The following 20 companies from Sicily participated in the event: Consorzio Perlato Sicilia, Iovino Marmi, Santoro Marmi, Consorzio Ceramiche Desuir, Calandra Marmi sas, Nuovo Art S.p.A., CIMA srl, Pellegrino Francesco and Group Pellegrino Import-Export srl, Alfa Graniti, Italia Lithos srl, Gieffevi, Treemme dei F.lli Micelli, Sicilianan Industria Lavorazioni Marmi, Lavorazione Industriale Marmi e Affini-Lima, Santangelo Marmi, Settipani, Avola Luciano di Avola Giuseppe, Oddo Marmi srl and Oro Marmi.

“The companies’ part of the consortium is the extraction, working and the commercialization of the marble,” stated the organizers. “These companies vary in their types of produced marble, from lava stone to ivory, and their uses, such as tiles, furniture, slabs, blocks and bathroom fittings. These companies are among the largest in Sicily, and export their products worldwide.”

Prior to last month’s event, the first institutional mission took place in Chicago from July 22 to 25, 2008. The overall goal of the “Country Partnership Project” is to focus the promotional programs of the Region of Sicily on economic sectors that are strategic for the Regional Administration.