(AGI) Rome, March 15 - Quality cuisine is one of the pillars for the promotion of Italy worldwide. In line with the Expo legacy, Italy has launched an action plan to make even better use of the country's culinary excellence. The plan involves the diplomatic, economic and cultural network, along with Italy's best chefs - an initiative presented at the Farnesina by Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who signed an agreement for the promotion of Italian cuisine abroad with Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina and Education Minister Stefania Giannini. "The international promotion operation begins with six strategic countries - the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Brazil," said FM Gentiloni. However, "it extends to other countries very soon. The Foreign Ministry will coordinate various initiatives, setting in motion not only our embassies but also the consulates and Italian Institutes of Culture.
"The minister explained that the programme includes "the week of Italian cuisine, which is organised every year in late November, but also master classes, scholarships and training events on our food and wine culture", organised with the Italian National Olympic Committee on the occasion of "international sport events, starting with the Rio 2016 Olympics. There is no need to explain how crucial the sector is for the promotion of our country's image and economy. Italy is a cultural superpower and quality cuisine is its main strength." The initiative is part of the 'Food Act', promoted by the government to make best use of Italy's cuisine and to build on the experience of Expo Milan. The Ministry for Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency, the National Olympics Committee, Unioncamere and Assocamerestero are involved in the programme. Agriculture Minister Martina pointed out that Italian cuisine plays an important role in Italian diplomacy. "Food is key in the search to know and understand the world," he said. "The Italian gastronomic experience represents Italian know-how, but is also a way to strengthen the Italian presence abroad." According to top chef Carlo Cracco, "it is a beautiful day to be able to finally start an important project to use, improve and protect our heritage. It started with the Expo and stays in motion. It is an important heritage that must be taken very seriously," he added. Another Italian chef, Cristina Bowerman, called for close cooperation and stressed the importance of training new chefs in Italy. Davide Oldani, who will represent the Italian food industry at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, stressed the importance of combining quality cuisine with sport for a healthy life. . .