VICENZA, Italy – U.S. military and Italian officials recently shared business information with Italian companies seeking opportunities to work with the U.S. military in Italy and elsewhere.
On May 11, dozens of Italian business leaders took part in Vendors Day – a unique event coordinated by Vicenza officials, with support from the 414th Contracting Support Brigade and U.S. Army Garrison Italy. They discussed current contractual activities and future opportunities in the ornately decorated “Stucchi Room” of Palazzo Trissino, a 16th-century palace in downtown Vicenza that houses the town hall. Col. Frankie Cruz, the 414th CSB commander, said a panel presented opportunities to Italian companies interested in doing business with the U.S. government.
“Events like today's offer the opportunity to open a communication channel,” Cruz said. “It is also the occasion to meet potential new suppliers and contractors, who can allow us to find supplies and services to meet our essential requirements.”
Over the next four years, investments of up to $500 million will take place at U.S. Army posts in Vicenza, Livorno and Aviano Air Base. This includes major housing and administrative construction – work that could create opportunities for local businesses. Representatives of business organizations, such as chambers of commerce, builders and artisans, attended the event.
Increasing the local vendor pool and making companies aware of how to access supply contracts with American bases is important, said Silvio Giovine, Vicenza’s Councilor for Commerce and Industry.
“This is the first time that we promoted an initiative like this in the city,” Giovine said.
Attendees learned about upcoming U.S. military projects in Northern Italy. Then Maj. Matthew Kindig, a 414th CSB officer, shared the basics of his unit’s mission, while several officials from the installations familiarized local vendors with U.S. contract requirements and explained how to register for System Award Management, the official U.S. government site for contracting opportunities.
Zoja Bazarnic, Political and Economic Chief at the U.S. Consulate in Milan, said the event was a tangible example of the synergies between the institutions. Bazarnic also highlighted the strong bond between Vicenza and the United States.
“I am committed to ensuring that my colleagues in Washington understand the political and economic context of Northern Italy,” said Bazarnic, who emphasized the region’s importance within the Italian economy and close U.S. ties. “This event is the result of friendship and values shared that bind this city and its citizens to the United States.”