Sino-Italian conference on BRI highlights mutual opportunities

Business opportunities at bilateral level and along the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have become the spotlight of a two-day virtual conference which closed in Italy on Thursday.

Business people, experts and officials from both sides taking part in the event discussed how to boost exports, operate in the respective markets, and analyze the latest developments along the BRI. Many guests introduced their own experiences.

Giulio Bonazzi was the chief executive officer of Italian firm Aquafil which recycles nylon waste from fishing nets and carpets to make new yarn for textile flooring and fashion. He shared his direct experience at the conference.

In Asia, the company started operating first in Thailand in 2007, and then in China by the end of 2009.

He added that their direct presence in China not only allowed them to operate in the local market, but to reach Japan, partially the Southeast Asian countries, and Australia and New Zealand.

"In China, as we did in Thailand, we decided to locate within a technology park, and it has been a great experience for us," the CEO said, adding that they have realized marked growth in turnover in less than 10 years; "in value, it represents about 40 percent of what we do in Europe, but it has very high growth rates."

Considering the wide picture of the BRI, former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi noted the acceleration in investments and trade in the BRI countries this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, had a double meaning.

"It shows the BRI is going to run full speed, and, secondly, that China has overcome the dramatic phase (of the pandemic)," Prodi said.

According to Song Wei, deputy director of the International Development Cooperation Institute with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), Italy would offer specific opportunities to Chinese firms willing to internationalize.

The Italian government has recently made much efforts into trying to attract foreign capitals into the country, which would work as an incentive for global investors, Song said.

Now in its third edition, the Sino-Italian conference on the BRI was organized by Italy's financial media outlet Class Editori in cooperation with Xinhua News Agency.

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