The Camera di Commercio Italo Orientale is open to all the brokers, both Italian and foreign, that want to develop social, cultural and commercial relationships between Italy and the eastern Countries, especially the countries situated between the Balkans and the Far East. It was founded in March 23rd 1924, thanks to the strong and persistent desire of the Bari Chamber of Commerce’s top management and of the Italian Government. The Italo-Orientale was driven by men as Antonio De Tullio, the first President in the history of the private body; Michele Viterbo, secretary-general; Nicola Ferrorelli, one of the Deputy Presidents of section. Moreover, the CCIO boasts members such as Raffaele Gorjux, Araldo di Crollalanza, Sergio Panunzio, Gaetano Postiglione who founded and enriched this private body by their hard work. The Italo-Orientale was born as coordinator and promoter body, aimed at taking care of the italian affairs in the Near East, overcoming the lack of action of those mixed or bilateral Chambers of Commerce that considered it a precious reference point. This was possible thanks to its wide range of activities and programmes in many areas. Sante Cosentino, one of the secretary-general, spoke about a: "necessary action, made in the respect of the Near East because many markets, even if they aren’t remarkable, are worthy of being attentively overseen in view of future business possibilities." Pursuing this policy, the Italo-Orientale was particularly dynamic toward Albania, with which it established many relations " to strengthen the union between the two banks." The organs foreseen by the Statute, such as the Technical Committees, the Development Section and Propaganda, gave big impulse to the Chamber’s studies, that developed capillary work of information about the oriental markets, also thanks to its foreign correspondents’ exhausted market surveys. Numerous publications and market analysis completed the work of the Italo-Orientale that, in 1935, boasted more than 70.000 import-export partner companies. In the same year the CCIO published an Italian-Turkish Business Dictionary and it started to publish informative bulletins: one for inside market and one for the foreign ones.
The CCIO aimed to organize all the Italian provinces’efforts, to intensify the penetration of the oriental market and to face the other countries. Numerous are also the trip-studies and the economic missions led by the CCIO as, for instance, one in 1928 in the Fair of Smirne in Turkey, to which took part young people that had attended the course for “Export Manager”, sed by the CCIO and many Italian companies. Another CCIO action was turned to the collective propaganda for the Italian olive oil in order to compete with vegetable fats and oils, supplying once again its own support in the oriental markets.
The CCIO had an active role in the birth of the “Fiera del Levante”. It is linked to an exhibition that was kept to Bari in 1900; it had turned out satisfactory results for the industrial, trade and agricultural local companies. After such experience, on initiative of Antonio De Tullio, a City Committee was born in order to organize an exhibition to be extended to the entire region. The initiative was interrupted because of the First World War and restarted in 1924; it involved the Camera di Commercio Italo Orientale with a lead role in the organization of the Fair. Such young Institution, in collaboration with the Bari Chamber of Commerce, was able to realize the ambitious project: the “Fiera del Levante”. The fair initially had to be called “Fiera Italo Orientale”, but it had its first official acknowledgement October 3rd 1929 and only in September 1930 the first exhibition was organized.
Since the first Charter, was previewed the presence of the CCIO in the Board of Directors through its two delegates. Since then the activity of the two Institutions is continued in a relationship of common and parallel initiatives, also for the medium of the foreign correspondents of the Chamber. Their work was put on hand of the Fair for decades. Only to cite some events, in 1938 the Italo-Orientale organized economic conferences with the representatives of Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey. For a long time, an Exchange Commodities existed (the today "Stock Exchange"), inside which the Chamber developed work of information and promotion of the Italian companies, constantly holding under control the development of the foreign markets. March 6th 1927 the Italo-Orientale, with R.D. n. 549, was erected in Moral Agency. Certainly this recognition was justified by its vivacious activity. In the period between its creation and the beginning of the Second World War, the Chamber has been one of the principal creators of the diffusion of the Italian products in the world, with a series of successful initiatives, programmed by ambitious and able men, who knew how to take advantage of the Apulia geographical position for regional and national interest. Between the main activities they go marked : - the creation of a notable number of delegations in several countries, with the purpose to supply support to the companies working in foreign countries; - the constitution of a Section Studies and Researches devoted to develop deep studies in international markets, to allow the entrepreneurs to constantly and quickly be informed on the market’s trend. After the Second World War, Isidoro Pirelli was chosen as President of the CCIO, who remained in charge until July 15th 1968. Followed him Vittorio Triggiani, who also covered the position of Deputy President of the “Mid-East Fair” from 1949 to 1963 and of President from August 3rd 1963 to 1976. During the Triggiani Presidency, the position of General Secretary was covered from Sante Cosentino.
An example for everybody of the fervent and multiform Chamber’s work, was the organization of a travelling exhibition realized on a ship that touched the main Mediterranean harbours, in order to make know the typical products from Apulia. As a consequence of the passing of the main protagonists of the epoch, the Chamber decreased progressively its activity to the almost total suspension also due to the war events. On July 8th 1983, in front of the notary Francesco Reboli, for want of the President of the Bari Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Craft, Hon. Luigi Farace, the Camera di Commercio Italo Orientale was reconstituted with the adhesion of eighteen entrepreneurs and the same C.C.I.A.A. Such reconstitution received the guarantee of the Industry, Craft and Agriculture Office, with prot. 306894 of August 8th 1984. Also Luigi Farace was chosen as President of the Italo-Orientale. With alternate moments, the Chamber continued its work and in February 1993, having received a government charge, Farace discharged him from the Presidency of the Bari Chamber of Commerce. In May 1994, after a period marked by a scarce activity, due to various reasons, the Presidency was committed to Silvio Panaro with the election of the new statutory organs. He reorganized the activity of the Chamber, both in Italy and in the foreign countries, with the creation of numerous correspondences. In 1998 the President and the Board of Directors were reconfirmed: further recognition for the positive activity carried out.
The initiatives of the Chamber increased so that the press and other media highlighted to the initiatives, so much to push different Agencies and Institutions, such as Region, Provinces, Municipalities and other Chambers of Commerce to ask for the registration to this important Agency.2.
In the meantime the Camera di Commercio Italo Orientale received a recognition by Ministry of Economic Development (in the past was Ministry of Foreign Trade) that allowed the CCIO to enrol with the registry of the Italian and Foreign Chamber of Commerce c/o Unioncamere. This acknowledgement has increased the role of the CCIO, that has supported the companies on the markets with own support in order to development the exported possibility and to make know the Made in Italy products in the foreign countries.
The CCIO today carries out different economic missions for the companies that join it; they have many occasion to meet potential partners in the foreign countries. Only an example: in Albania in 1994 and 2002, in Greece in the zone of the Epirus in 1996 and in 1997, in Romania in 1996, in Montenegro in 1997 and subsequently, until 2001, meetings with delegations in Italy, coming from Thailand, Hungary, Romania, Egypt, Poland,Japan and Slovakia.In 2001 the partners' meeting decided to entrust extraordinary powers to Silvio Panaro,because of the economical and the governement problemes, charging him as Special Administrator. The Chamber has also tightened collaboration and protocol agreements with foreign Embassies Counting Houses in Italy, with some foreign entrepreneur organization, with the Chambers of Commerce and Agencies (for ex. Unido). With the passing of the time some protocol agreements have been signed between the CCIO and the Chamber of Commerce of: Albania, Montengro, Romania, Turkey, Macedonia, Ukraine. Moreover, the promotion of the companies has been developed by many trade fairs: one of them is the Fair of the Municipalities, unique initiative in her kind, conceived by the CCIO and realized by the Mid-East Fair. Another example is the Forest and Mountain Fair, whose purpose is the revaluation of the woodland patrimony and mounts.
Moreover, the CCIO has proposed and organized many Apulia wine and food product shows such as "Gustate Puglia" (To taste Apulia), whose first edition has been kept during the "Romaespone: Rome Trade Fair”. "On the Mid-East doorstep", another successful fair to which have taken part the Italian companies that moved to Romania to promote the "Made in Italy” products. In 2000 an agreement protocol has been signed between this Agency, the Municipality of Foggia, the C.C.I.A.A., the Confcommercio, the Agency Fair of Foggia, the Apulia Unioncamere and the Expo C.T.S. of Milan finalized to the realization of "European & Med Food 2000". The first point in the planning of the annual activities is the commercial penetration of the “Made in Italy” easier in the foreign markets.
Moreover, since the year 2000, the CCIO has the key role of promoting the own partners and organizing some great events with the own patronage such as “The Festival of the European Cinema” in Corato (Ba), a meeting dedicated to the sources of energy in Cetraro (Cs), a meeting-seminar about the economy and the legislation in Albania. Finally, for several years the Municipality of Bisceglie organizes the prize "Entrepreneur of the Mediterranean" in collaboration with our Chamber.With the passing of the time some agreements in the different areas have been signed for the partners in order to allow the reductions of the offered services either by the CCIO or for a medium of the foreign correspondents of the Chamber.
Since some years ago the CCIO's periodical was monthly, today is quarterly,and it offers useful information to the partners, so that they are constantly up to date regarding legislative news of general interest, Fairs in Italy and abroad, offers/supplies of goods and services. In particular it has been created a database, in reference to supply and demand, where there are all kind of information for a direct contact.In particular it has been created a database, in reference to supply and demand, where there are all kind of information for a direct contact
In 2001 Panaro was chosen again as President and he has the arduous task to find agreements with Agencies and Associations in order to guarantee the quality of the offered services.
In April 2002 the Statute has been modified according to the new market demand. The new structure has strengthened the cooperation among the different Agencies, in particular the local Agencies, for the principles of the federalism and subsidiarity and the collaboration among the Institutions with the same aim: the penetration of the “Made in Italy” in the foreign markets. Moreover the CCIO firmly believe in the cooperation among the Organization involved into the Internationalization process.
In 2011 Antonio Barile is chosen as President of the Chamber. The new President has confirmed the strengthening of the last guidelines, promoting the local, national and international actions that contribute to cooperation and realization of the medium and long term plans both with public and private Institutions. Few months after the election he has signed an important protocol agreement with the Prahova Chamber of Commerce, Halal Italy and Samer of Bari.