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China-Italy business exchanges boosted by 'China Awards'

Updated: 2013-11-29 11:18
( Xinhua)

MILAN, Italy - A total of 32 companies, institutions and personalities were awarded in Italy's Milan on Thursday at the annual China Awards dinner aimed at enhancing cultural understanding and business exchanges between the two countries.

Among the awarded companies, both from Italy and China, there were markets leaders in a variety of sectors from food to mechanics, finance and green energies as well as smaller investors that have seized the opportunities offered by the two countries.

The European branch of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co Ltd, China's domestic rating agency, was awarded as "one of the players that have particularly distinguished themselves in promoting bilateral relations."

Established in Milan last year, Dagong Europe Credit Rating was the first Asian rating company operating in the European Union (EU) as the result of a Sino-Italian joint venture between Dagong Global Credit Rating and Mandarin Capital Partners, a private equity fund by institutional investors from Europe and China.

Italy's luxury car maker Ferrari was given a special price for enhancing the role of sports in the dialogue between Italy and China.

"I remember the first F1 China GP in 2004, when I took a call and I saw so many red flags waving around me, it was impressing," Ferrari's President Luca Cordero di Montezemolo told the around 250 distinguished guests who attended the China Awards.

"If there is a country that can help Italy, it is China," Paolo Panerai, head of the Italian media group Class Editori, which organized the China Awards along with the Italy-China Foundation, said. "But what Italy needs is not much investments but rather China's positive energy," he added.

Panerai, who was the first Italian journalist to interview the architect of China's opening-up Deng Xiaoping and since then has strengthened his friendship with the country, also highlighted his group's partnership with Xinhua that he described as an international "news giant."

"When the China Awards was created eight years ago, China was considered in Italy more a menace than an opportunity," Cesare Romiti, president of Italy-China Foundation, noted.

"Today China has a very different image, and the success of so many companies that have built deep relations with China is the evidence," he said.

One of the Italian personalities who particularly succeeded in contributing to this change was actress and producer Maria Grazia Cucinotta, who was given a special "golden lion" price for her bridging role between the two countries.

Cucinotta's latest movie is a romantic comedy filmed in Italy and China. The film is a co-production between the two countries and is currently in post-production. "I have visited China many times and I have always tried my best to go deep into that fascinating culture," she said.

"It is beautiful every time to bring something from Italy to China and bring back something else from China to Italy. I love cooking Chinese food, I can say that a part of me has become Chinese," she stressed.

Proceeds from the dinner were destined to the Lifeline Express project, a rainbow-colored hospital-train that provides free cataract operations to patients in rural China. While working on the eye-train, eye-doctors are trained to facilitate the future development.