ICBC-Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Fondazione Italia China presented today, during an online event that linked Milan and Beijing, ICBC Business Matchmaker, a global digital matchmaking platform at the service of small and medium-sized enterprises around the world, born in the year that saw economic and commercial exchanges strongly slowed down and hindered due to the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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"It is a project that aims to help Italian and Chinese companies, and especially those small and medium-sized ones that most need to be supported in a delicate phase like this to establish collaborative and working relationships - said Mario Boselli, President of the Italy China Foundation in its opening greeting -. We are particularly pleased with this alliance and to carry this project forward together, because as a Foundation we have always been very close to businesses, and especially to small and medium-sized ones, which need our support most”.
Last year ICBC - the largest bank in the world in terms of total assets, deposits collected and profits achieved - and the Italy China Foundation, the most important association that works with China in Italy, signed a collaboration agreement that is materialized today in the launch of this project, already tested during the third edition of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai (5-10 November 2020), during which many of the 70 participating Italian companies were able to use the platform to identify Chinese counterparts.
"In our country, ICBC will manage the technical and operational part of the system while the Foundation will identify and channel the interests of the shareholders and companies in the system and access to the system itself - explained Marco Bettin, Chief Operations Officer of the Italy China Foundation - . Together they will also organize a series of roadshows to make the potential of this platform better known”.
To date there are already 20,000 companies, mostly Chinese, registered in the system. By June, the estimate is that the database will exceed 100,000 units: thousands of Chinese companies selected and willing to dialogue to develop new collaboration relationships available to interested Italian partners and companies.
Two novelties announced by Li Zong, Deputy GM of Inclusive Finance Dept. ICBC Head Office in his greeting from Beijing. "We have included the companies present at today's presentation in the list of special guests of the platform to make the registration process more efficient - he said -. We will also launch the new version of the platform in June of this year, with many new features for registered companies".
"This is an exceptional tool, the implementation of which has been accelerated by the tragic pandemic in progress but which is part of - added Sergio Miele, Senior Business Development Consultant ICBC Milan Branch - in a process of digitization of the economy and trade, on which we in Italy are late but which in China has already started for many years. Italian companies and especially small and medium-sized enterprises, which are those most interested in extending their business abroad, are asked to make a cultural leap, to take note that to compete it is necessary to innovate their business model but above all the way of thinking".
What is ICBC Business Matchmaker and what does it offer
ICBC Business Matchmaker (https://match.icbc.com.cn, active since last August) was developed independently by ICBC and is open to companies from all countries. It relies on ICBC's global service network, leading FinTech tools and broad customer base to help Chinese and foreign enterprises integrate into global industrial, supply and value chains and to foster global cooperation in goods , services, technologies, projects and capital.
Through the Italy China Foundation, companies will be able to register for free on the portal by entering their company data, specifications relating to products and services requested and / or offered with a view to collaborating with Chinese counterparts. The Foundation, in collaboration with the staff of ICBC Milan Branch, will coordinate the process to make the adhesion of companies to the platform more effective, organize B2B focuses and initiatives, involving specific sectors and different geographical areas.
The platform has already activated several basic features, such as "Marketplace" and "Events". "Marketplace" supports companies in publishing and researching products online - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - and cooperation projects, helping them in the first contact with target companies for pre-matchmaking. "BMM Events" allows you to participate in matchmaking events both online and offline, supporting the various stages of the organization, such as the launch of the event, the booking of meetings between supply and demand, business negotiation and follow-up. Companies, regardless of where they are, will be able to communicate directly with their Chinese counterparts also thanks to the support of specific interpreting services.
The numbers of ICBC Business Matchmaker
To date, the platform has attracted nearly 20,000 companies from over 40 countries and regions and has reached strategic cooperation with numerous commercial organizations in Italy, China, Argentina, Singapore and Malaysia, thanks to which an open and inclusive global network is emerging. Several online and offline matchmaking events were held, such as the 2020 China-Africa Online Conference on Economic and Trade Cooperation, the Argentina-China 2020 Cloud Matchmaking Fair, with 70% of the cooperation intentions achieved, for a total value of almost RMB 10 billion. On 6 November 2020, during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), with the help of ICBC Business Matchmaker, ICBC successfully organized the Belt and Road Trade Fair support event, which offered companies the opportunity to experience the entire global matchmaking process. The event attracted 400 companies from 32 countries and regions, including Italy, and facilitated the signing of nearly 300 contracts and MOUs for an estimated total value of over 3 billion RMB, obtaining widespread recognition. by companies around the world.
ICBC Business Matchmaker for Italy
During last year's China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), ICBC and the Italy China Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding on global matchmaking to establish long-term cooperative ties and provide partner companies with exclusive matchmaking services. corporate. As part of the MoU, ICBC and the Italy China Foundation plan to organize a promotional roadshow and the creation of exclusive online and offline matchmaking events. ICBC Business Matchmaker will offer the companies indicated by the Foundation services for free participation in online / offline matchmaking events (also in the context of international trade fairs scheduled in China and other moments of economic promotion).
In the post-pandemic era, ICBC and the Italy China Foundation will work together to build a privileged channel of contact for small and medium-sized enterprises in China and Italy and will work to facilitate global trade and make contributions to the world economy.