The organisers of HOST are confident of attracting more US-based catering equipment and foodservice companies to Milan next year after receiving an important acknowledgement from the country’s trade office.

The Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce has renewed certification for the country’s official participation in the 2017 edition of show in a move that attests the exhibition’s ability to create international business opportunities.

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HOST said the certification is “particularly prestigious” because it is only given to a limited number of international shows that, based on strict parameters, show they can “successfully offer opportunities to explore new markets” for American professionals.

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HOST is currently the only show in the industry to have obtained certification in Italy.

Robert Peaslee, from the US Commercial Consul in Milan, said the collaborative relationship between Fiera Milano and the Commercial Office of the US Consulate continues to strengthen.

“The mission of the US Commercial Service is to support American businesses in creating and developing quality international relationships,” he said. “With partners like HostMilano, we are certain that American companies will have the opportunity to further strengthen their presence in Italy and abroad.”

At the last edition of the show, in 2015, the number of American exhibitors grew 20%. The US Commercial Service expects the figure to rise again following the latest agreement.

Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano, added: “The importance of this government endorsement, which is widely recognised by the American business community, serves as a driver that goes beyond the community, involving buyers and visitors as well. It is an unparalleled opportunity for Italian industry, which is a worldwide leader in many of the sectors represented at the show, to increase its penetration into the American market, which is the largest and most dynamic in the world.”

Key US players lined up for the 2017 show include Alto-Shaam, Amerex, Bunn-O-Matic, Cambro, Follett Corporation, GET Enterprises, Hatco Corporation, Howe Precision Industrial, Motion Technology, T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Taylor Company, Turbo Air, Waring Commercial and Wood Stone.

According to estimates by the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales in the US are expected to reach $783 billion (£551 billion) this year, equivalent to 4% of GDP. There are more than one million restaurant locations nationwide.