Booths showcasing products at the international chilli trade fair Rieti Cuore Piccante (Photo: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – Vietnamese spices and farm produce have been displayed for the first time in Italy’s central city of Rieti, a popular hub for chilli growing, during the international chilli trade fair Rieti Cuore Piccante that opened on August 29.

The annual event, that runs until September 2, is also a chance for Vietnam to introduce Vietnamese cuisine and other attractions to Italian friends.

According to Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Italy Nguyen Duc Thanh, Italy is a big chilli importer, with a much greater demand compared to other countries in the region. Despite being chilli producers themselves, Italy still has to imported 70 percent of the chilli it consumes domestically.

Apart from chilli, Italy consumes other spices. The country imports peppercorn from Vietnam with revenue of about 10 million USD per year. Italy also imports Vietnamese coffee with 300 million USD per year in revenue, and many other agricultural products, Thanh said, advising domestic exporters to pay due attention to the market.

The Rieti Cuore Piccante has about 100 booths introducing more than 800 kinds of chilli around the world, along with 80 events throughout of the fair. Along with chilli, it also features various kinds of spices.

Visitors also have chance to taste foods featuring chilli as an ingredient, while enjoying local music and the historical relic sites of Rieti.

Rieti Cuore Piccante has become a key cultural event for locals in Rieti.

In 2017, the fair attracted some 160,000 visitors. This year, the Vietnamese Embassy is joining the fair as a sponsor. It is also the first time Vietnam has joined the event.–VNA