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Italy to Further Explore Opportunities for Service Trade With China

Italy is leveraging the ongoing 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) as an important platform to enhance bilateral relations with China in the realm of service trade, aiming to explore new opportunities in the sector, an Italian trade commissioner said.

“There are many opportunities to exploit in the short, medium, and long term to deepen China-Italy cooperation in the service trade. We would like to send this message of our commitment to explore opportunities for the service trade, and to further develop our relationship in the near future,” said Gianpaolo Bruno, Trade Commissioner of Italian Trade Agency (ITA) Beijing Office and Coordinator of ITA Offices in China and Mongolia, in an interview with Xinhua at the Italian National Pavilion of CIFTIS 2023.

Expressing his confidence in the China-Italy economic ties reaching for a more promising future, the official described the world’s second-largest economy as “a major driver of global economic growth for several decades,” and rejoiced at seeing its further growth. “China’s economy is expected to gradually shift toward a more sustainable and consumption-driven model as it continues to experience growth.”

“China is investing heavily in research and development, and expanding into the Chinese market can offer significant opportunities for Italian companies across various sectors, such as consumer goods and luxury products, automotive and engineering, and e-commerce and digital platforms,” said Bruno.

According to ITA, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Italy in 1970, friendly cooperation between the two sides has flourished in bilateral economic and trade, investment, cultural, and technological fields. In 2022, the China-Italy trade volume reached 77.88 billion U.S. dollars, representing a 5.4 percent year-on-year increase and setting a new historical record.

Noting that the service sector plays a crucial role in bilateral trade, Bruno said tourism contributes significantly to service exports and imports, particularly with the resumption of tourism flows after China optimizes its COVID-19 response.

“Culture is the basis of bilateral relations between countries, particularly important for Italy and China, two of the most ancient civilizations in the world linked by the ancient Silk Road,” he said, adding that Chinese tourists spent 5.4 million nights in Italy in 2019, accounting for over 5 percent of Italy’s total international visitors.

Highlighting China’s remarkable achievements in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the official said, “China has achieved a high level of development in AI, and we are here to glean insights from China’s advancements in the field. We aim to facilitate our companies in embracing intellectualization and tap into the knowledge that China has amassed in the sector.”

Bruno noted that digitalization brings great advantages to the service industry. Italy views digital transformation as one of its priorities to foster economic growth, drive innovation, and enhance productivity. He highlighted the substantial potential for deepening Sino-Italian collaboration in this domain, particularly in areas such as e-commerce, intelligent tourism, and urban planning.

In an era marked by profound global economic integration and rapid digital technological progress, service trade has emerged as a vibrant sector and a pivotal catalyst for economic development. He noted that CIFTIS serves as a crucial platform and opportunity for showcasing Italy’s “soft power” in the service field and enhancing economic ties between Italy and China in global trade.

“CIFTIS offers us a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas, share innovative achievements, and strengthen service trade cooperation with our international peers. Italy’s active participation underscores our sense of responsibility in promoting global trade, fostering cultural exchanges, and mutual understanding,” said the official.

The trade commissioner also noted that the Chinese government is doubling its efforts to attract foreign direct investment in China by improving the business environment for foreign companies and investors, through the guidelines outlined by the State Council in mid-August.

“All the opinions in the guidelines are really bolstering the degree of confidence of Italian companies. And we are looking forward to seeing the successful implementation,” he said. 

Source: Xinhua



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