July 17, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- One man, one trade show, a unique 47-year-old history. When
Peppino G. Cocozza
, popularly known as Giuseppe, first arrived in
in 1966, his hair was black and red guards filled the streets of
. After attending an early installment of the Canton Fair that year, Cocozza fell in love - both with the show and the country of
. Rarely has a business opportunity blossomed into such heartfelt and longstanding devotion.
To call Cocozza a Sinophile would be an understatement. "No one loves
more than I do," says Cocozza. "I'm not a foreigner. I have a Chinese heart."
Cocozza's interest in
was inspired by
travel journals, which he read avidly before his first trip. The mysterious oriental civilization held a powerful allure for the Italian-born Swede, who founded his own business, lnter Agenturer AB, in 1961. After learning about the Canton Fair from a friend five years later, he jumped at the opportunity to visit the country of his dreams.
These days 74-year-old Cocozza's hair may be white, but he remains as sprightly as ever. Having attended the Canton Fair nearly 100 times since 1966, he was awarded a special prize at the 100
installment of the Fair in 2006, when he met Premiers Zhu Rongji and
. Keeping it in the family, he has even brought his son and grandson to the event, and frequently travels across
Back in 1966 Cocozza spent a few thousand dollars on products from the Fair - these days Chinese goods cover the walls of his head office in Linkoping.