Executive Intelligence Review


China and Italy Should Build an ‘Axis of Growth’

Jan. 31, 2019 (EIRNS)—After his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi in Rome on Jan. 25, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy and China should build an “axis of growth.” Wang Yi said the two countries represent “the cradle of Eastern and Western thought,” the daily FaroDiRoma reported.

Conte stressed that “Italy attaches great importance to trade relations with China. For this reason, I hope we can keep high-level relationships and strengthen cooperation in the economic, commercial and investment sectors, including the energy sector.”

“The New Silk Road Initiative is a major ground for our bilateral cooperation. Rome is ready to join forces to develop an axis of growth with Beijing,” Conte concluded.

For his part, Wang said: “China and Italy have always had friendly relationships. They represent the cradle of Eastern and Western thought.” His visit aimed at promoting “a strategic, global and sustainable partnership” between the two countries, “independent from the evolutions of international scenarios.”

“Italy is a natural partner, including in the framework of the ‘New Silk Road’ initiative. I therefore invite Rome to play an active role. Both China and Italy would benefit from it, because China is opening its internal market with a view to facilitating the economic-commercial development of the Eurasian region.

“Strengthening cooperation in sectors such as industry, agriculture and innovation can bring mutual benefits to both economies, which show certain complementarities. Beijing is in favor of promoting qualified investments in Italy and is confident that Rome can offer a suitable environment for a fair and profitable trade, able to satisfy both parties.”

Meanwhile, Italian media have reported that trade exchanges between China and the New Silk Road countries have reached $1.3 trillion in 2018, reported the Commerce Ministry in Beijing. They have grown 16.3% from 2017. Industrial investments amount to $15.6 billion, 9% more than in 2017.