Italy Promises New Cooperation with China while Holding the EU Presidency
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

A new economic deal has been established between China and Italy.  On 11th June the two economies have signed three-year action plan covering areas such as ‘trade, industries and investment, finance, business, tourism and visits, and technological innovation'The action plan designed for the period of 2013-2016 has been achieved by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who made his official visit to China from 10 to 12 June.

Li expressed his anxiety towards the implementation phase of the action plan, meanwhile Renzi ensured that the action plan will be controlled by bilateral meetings and discussions that will evaluate the realization and the effects that the action plan is making in both Chinese and Italian economies. The sixth meeting of the bilateral governmental committee will be held in the second half of the year in Beijing and it will assess the action plan between the two countries.

The action plan is aimed at bringing a new level of cooperation between Italy and China, as well as at boosting the two economies. Trade balance will be kept through the Italian exports to China. In order to strengthen the economic partnership, the two countries are engaging the cooperation in fields such as environmental protection and energy, agricultural products and processing, food security, urbanization, medicine, health and aviation.

"We both agree that the scale of our bilateral trade and investment should have a large increase for our economic scale and development potential" Li said. Further cooperation is intended in customs, health and plant quarantine. A long-term goal is to reduce barriers and open markets which are in favour of both sides’ economic growth. 

The partnership aims to strengthen bilateral basis on investment and industry. The action plan includes waste material salvage, renewable energy, architecture and design, health service, aviation, engine technology, machinery, communication technology, nanotechnology, biopharmacy, shipbuilding, and oil and gas exploration. Chinese capital will be invested in Italy's public facilities, logistics, infrastructure, services, and the protection of Italy's arts and cultural heritage. 

Moreover, the partnership intends to fight against issues like intellectual property rights, one of the major issues in the Chinese market that prevents FDI enlargement in China due to the fear of purchasing fake products. The action plan is also based on mutual assistance to create a reliable environment allowing other institutions to invest in both Chinese and Italian markets, as well as to establish new bank branches.

Renzi ensured that the visa regime for Chinese tourists will be cut down to 36 hours. In his turn, Li expressed his willingness to participate to Milan Expo 2015 and to the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Milan, another opportunity to strengthen the partnership between the two continents by empowering their economic ties. Numerous governmental tools and mechanisms will be implemented in the field of innovation and technology. Both sides are ready to build a multilevel cooperation that will create a platform for a strong partnership.

Since Italy is the current holder of the EU rotating Presidency, the vision of the Italian-Chinese partnership shows the interest of  ameliorating relations between China and Europe  particularly by contributing to the creation of a free trade area and opening new doors for areas such as technology, infrastructure construction, aviation and urbanization.

The cooperation was moved even further by signing a memorandum on  nuclear power. It aims at establishing new projects within China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and Sogin, a state-owned Italian company that specializes in environmental remediation of nuclear sites and radioactive waste. It will allow to the Chinese nuclear companies to extend their activities and the nuclear market beyond the Chinese borders.

Edited by Laura Davidel  
Photo credits: CCTV