Italy-China cooperation and the possibility of bilateral trade agreements were the focus of the Investment Cooperation Forum, which was held on 9 March in Rome. The event was organized by ICCF - Italy China Council Foundation and by a government delegation representing the Longgang district of the city of Shenzhen, visiting Italy for an institutional and business mission.
The aim of the Forum was to present the opportunities offered by the District of Longgang - Shenzhen as a strategic support base for new economic development projects. More than fifty representatives of Italian companies attended the conference room of the ADVANT Nctm law firm to learn more about this primary Chinese industrial reality.
Longgang is one of the largest economic districts in Shenzhen: in 2020, it achieved a GDP of RMB 474.45 billion, becoming the first national economic district among the top 10, and ranking first among China's top 100 industrial districts for three years consecutive (2018-2020). Longgang is home to more than 2,500 state-level hi-tech enterprises, including companies such as Huawei and BYD. It houses six industrial clusters - Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Artificial Intelligence & Internet of Things (AIoT), Creative Life, Green Energy, Electronic Components and Life Science - and is the largest area dedicated to the ICT sector in the Asia region -Pacific. 11% of the District's GDP is invested in Research and Development, a percentage that puts Longgang in first place in the world for this type of investment.
Important Italian and Chinese institutional realities, and large companies active in the Longgang District, brought their presentations during the Forum. The proceedings were opened by institutional greetings from Riccardo Monti, Executive Vice President of the Italy China Council Foundation, Zheng Xuan, Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Italy, and Zhang Liwei, Mayor of the Longgang District government in the city of Shenzhen. The thirty-year history of the Chinese area was illustrated by Gao Sinuo, Director of the Longgang Investment Promotion and Business Services Center. In the part of the Forum dedicated to business experiences, Zhou Patrick, Commercial Director of BYD Europe B.V. spoke on the Chinese side. – an important automotive company – and Xu Sheng, Business Supervisor Europe, Eternal Planet Energy of the CSI Solar group, specialized in the renewable energy sector. On the Italian side, the panel dedicated to the internationalization of the supply chain was attended by Daniela Cannizzo, Organization of International Missions of Confindustria, Andrea Rossi, Head of International Business Support of Sace and Roberto Cafiero, Trade Promotion Officer of Agenzia ITA, Made in Italy Department. The final point on the prospects for future collaborations was left to Enrico Toti, of Counsel of ADVANT Nctm. All the participants were then able to interact directly in the networking cocktail which concluded the Forum.
“Shenzhen's SEZ (Special Economic Zone) was China's first and was an extraordinary experiment that started an economic boom that has still lasted for forty years - said Riccardo Monti, ICCF Executive Vice President -. Italy and China are two large manufacturing economies and must collaborate more and better to strengthen their production chains”.
The initiative is part of the activities of the Italy China Council Foundation to reactivate direct contacts also through the reception of Chinese delegations visiting our country. In fact, following the recent post-pandemic reopening, institutional and business missions from the People's Republic of China have restarted. ICCF organizes forums and conferences to encourage meetings between representatives of Chinese institutions and companies with their Italian counterparts.
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