Executive Intelligence Review


Italy’s Geraci Seeks Greater China-Italy Cooperation in Africa

Feb. 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—In an interview with China Daily today, Michele Geraci, Undersecretary of the Italian Economic Development Ministry, urged for greater cooperation between Italy and China in African development. Geraci said that the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in September for third-country cooperation helps set the framework for Chinese and Italian companies working together in regions such as Africa.

“We are in the process of selecting specific joint venture projects between Italian and Chinese companies,” Geraci told China Daily.

“I believe this is a win-win solution for all parties involved, including African people themselves, because large outbound migrant flows risk depleting the African continent of its intellectual capital, something that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.”

Geraci called the China-Italy partnership in Africa “a good example of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative” and said that the two countries are also looking forward to cooperating on harbors.

“We are analyzing how to include Italian ports as the western terminal of the New Silk Road for international shipments. Our northern ports are right in the middle of Europe, and our southern ports are essential for the development of Mediterranean and African economies,”

he said. Geraci also said that agricultural machinery and food are two areas where he sees the strongest potential for trade cooperation between the two countries, and that other traditional sectors such as fashion and heavy machinery will continue to play a strong role in Italy’s exports to China.

But there must be greater understanding between China and the West in order to avoid the misunderstandings of the past, he emphasized. Geraci declared that, while China has large GDP figures and is reckoned as a world economic power, it is also “comprised of people whose income per capita is very low by European standards.” This fact should be taken into account in any reform of the international system, he said.

“We are indeed eager to make sure that the international trade system works smoothly and that the rules ensure a level playing field that takes into account each country’s different social and economic stage of development and contingent challenges,”

Geraci said.

Geraci has longtime experience with China, and speaks Chinese. Before joining the new Italian government last year, he held posts with as former head of the China Economic Policy Program at Nottingham University Business School; former head of China Program at the Global Policy Institute; former Adjunct Professor of Finance, New York University, Shanghai; and former Adjunct Professor of Finance at Zhejiang University.