Labinnova South East Europe 2023: Supporting International Collaboration for Agri-Business Sector and Sustainable Resource Management

Roncucci&Partners took place in Labinnova South East Europe 2023, a project organized with the ITA – Italian Trade Agency that is paving the way for internationalization and business opportunities in the agri-business sector for the Balkan region. This year’s project aims to enhance cooperation between Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria, focusing on agricultural and livestock product transformation and sustainable resource management.

The first stage of Labinnova South East Europe 2023 took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 24 to 26 May 2023. During this stage, Giovanni Roncucci, CEO of the Roncucci&Partners Group, shared insights on approaching the Bosnian and Herzegovinian market with a structured project in the sectors of agroindustry and food processing.

Bosnia and Herzegovina imported goods worth 650 million euros from Italy in 2022, making it the highest import value from any single country. The most exported products from Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina include iron and steel, machinery, plastics, and footwear and the main products that Italy exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina are chemical and leather products, food products, and textiles.

The development and growth of agricultural production, although consistent in recent years, remain significantly below the real potential and initial expectations set in the post-war period. The primary crops include corn, followed by wheat and potatoes. The agricultural sector contributes approximately 8% to the GDP. The sectors with the most abundant and productive natural resources are fruit and vegetable cultivation, cattle and sheep breeding, and poultry farming. Leveraging the agri-food expertise, such as that of Italy, can undoubtedly contribute to the development of these sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We strongly believe that future collaborations resulting from these initiatives will be promising for both countries.

The second stage of Labinnova in Plovdiv

Continuing its mission, Labinnova South East Europe 2023 proceeded to the second stage, which took place from 30 May to 01 June 2023 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The stage in Bulgaria focused on promoting agri-business and exploring opportunities for collaboration with Italy, a global leader in food processing and packaging. The topics that Giovanni Roncucci and Federico Rubini have covered during these training days included marketing strategies, export plans, market access, innovation, and sustainability. The event brought together 20 companies from Bulgaria’s main provinces. The participants were carefully selected by the ICE Office of Sofia in collaboration with the “Union of Bulgarian Fruits and Vegetables Processors” and the “Association of Meat Processors in Bulgaria.”

Overall, the EU is Bulgaria’s main reference market, and in this context, in 2022, Italy maintained its third position as a trading partner of the country, with a trade volume of 6.8 billion euros, representing a growth of 31.8% compared to the previous year. Exports to Bulgaria from Italy include machinery, electronic and electrical devices, vehicles, and plastic products. On the other hand, Italy imports copper, chemical products, textiles, vegetable fats and oils, as well as glass and glassware from Bulgaria.

Labinnova South East Europe 2023: a 3-phases program

With a primary focus on the sustainable management of resources, Labinnova South East Europe 2023 aims to foster economic growth, job creation, and knowledge exchange between Italy and the participating countries. By leveraging Italy’s expertise in the agri-business sector, the project seeks to create long-term business opportunities and strengthen partnerships between the countries.

The Labinnova South East Europe program is structured in 3 phases:

  1. Selection of participating companies and evaluation to assess the technical-managerial level and internationalization potential of the local beneficiary companies.
  2. Three days of training in Sarajevo and Plovdiv.
  3. Study Tour in Italy for the companies with the highest export potential in October 2023, including a visit to the CibusTec trade fair and relevant agro-industrial companies in the Emilia-Romagna region.

Sladjana Lucic


At Roncucci&Partners we help companies develop themselves and their business, embrace change and evolve to thrive in a world that is increasingly complicated, insidious and requires great expertise. We do this by applying punctual methods and rigorous strategies, the result of many years of experience and the richness of the numerous success stories we have conducted all over the world. Passion and method are indeed our guides to enhance the present and build the future.

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