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New president for Italian Foundry Suppliers’ Association

Riccardo Ferrario is the new president of AMAFOND, the Italian Foundry Suppliers’ Association. He has been the general manager of Idra Group of Travagliato (Brescia area) since 2009, a company that boasts over 70 years’ experience in the production of diecasting machines and auxiliary equipment, with a background in Fiat Teksid, Meridian Technologies and EurAlcom.

Ferrario was elected to the role at Amafond’s ordinary assembly on 23rd July, he follows on from immediate past president Maurizio Sala.

During his last speech, president Sala, after thanking everyone for the support and help received during his mandate, highlighted the difficult moment in time in which we are living. He said: “A strong recession was already worrying us before the virus due to the brakes placed on world trade and our export situation due to protectionist wars, the lack of public and private investments and structural reforms.”

He said that in his opinion there are three essential priorities for Italy.
“The first is productivity: the great absence for 25 years in the Italian public debate, 25 years of substantial stagnation. Stagnant productivity has effects that accumulate negatively not only in production, but in the entire sustainability of Italy. Furthermore, stagnant productivity discourages the dimensional growth of companies, their greater capitalisation, their rise in international supply chains, and their margins for investment.
“The second cross-cutting priority is the measurement of the quality and effectiveness of public expenditure. We cannot think that we will solve the problem we have been dealing with for years simply by ignoring it. The suspension of the EU stability pact will not be eternal. We will have a similar amount of resources available, not only if we present Italy with a serious and credible plan, but also through the results that will testify our work.

“The third priority must be to guarantee our future and the future of our children. A credible multi-year framework for the sustainability of Italian public finance and the reduction of public debt is immediately needed. The public debt will rise this year and at the beginning of the next towards an amount of around 160 per cent of GDP.

“Investments in innovation and research, human capital, environmental and social sustainability of our production, new contractual forms, international vision, extension of our presence in strategic markets and innovative supply chains, but also a great recovery of the national market.
“The government will soon say how it intends to operate on the tax lever and on the tax wedge, not only in 2020, but also in the coming years. It should tell us now if we can count on punctual measures such as those implemented by other European countries in terms of the automotive, steel and export supply chains.”

The newly elected president Riccardo Ferrario, thanked those companies present, the board of the steering committee and in particular his predecessor Maurizio Sala for the time and the efforts made for the association in these years, before focussing his first speech in the role on the lines that will characterise his mandate: ‘Made in Italy - Innovation – Team’.

He explained: “Italy is known all over the world for the luxury sector for example, but still too little for its excellence in the casting industry. I see the aim as president of AMAFOND to be to make companies known as much as possible by putting AMAFOND at their full service.
“Another key theme will be innovation: only by having the courage to think in an innovative way, will it be possible to continue to be present and competitive on both international and national markets, even if the scenarios have drastically changed and will no longer be the same as before the pandemic.

“Also in AMAFOND it will be necessary to have the ability to be innovative: in marketing, making new promotional strides in the web-based world, but also increasing relationships with foundry associations, ASSOFOND in the first place but also with the international foundry associations, which are our counterparts and represent our customers.

“In addition, innovation also passes through our relationship with universities, which must be useful to get rid of that old and obsolete patina that holds the foundry world behind, and that does not attract talent. “We must also be innovative in the sector of eco-sustainability.”

The last fundamental point expressed by president Ferrario is the concept of teamwork. He said that to provide a useful and effective service to all the associates, it is important that each member of the steering committee has a specific role. “Although the moment is particularly difficult, I look to the future with optimism,” he concluded.

During the public part of the Assembly, a round table was held with Roberto Vavassori (former president of CLEPA) and Roberto Ariotti (president of ASSOFOND). The two speakers gave rise to an interesting debate moderated by president Riccardo Ferraio, centered on what the prospects of revival are in 2021 following the situation generated by the outbreak of the pandemic.
In particular, Roberto Ariotti focused on an interesting analysis of the present and future of the Italian and European casting sector, while Roberto Vavassori focused his intervention on the automotive sector. At the end of the speeches an interesting debate followed between the audience and the speakers.

At the same meeting, vice presidents were elected as for AMAFOND as follows: for the product group – Luca Casella (director, Sipag Bisalta Spa) and Angelo Vezzuli (general manager, EKW Italia Srl); for the machinery and equipment group – Paolo Magaldi (deputy CEO, Magaldi Power Spa) and Michele Pietribiasi (chief executive officer, Euromac Srl). Past president Piero Starita was also elected honorary president