Business / Economy

Italian entrepreneurs eye collaboration with China on infrastructures

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-23 10:37

MILAN - The infrastructure sector offers big opportunities of collaboration with China, Italian officials and entrepreneurs said as a delegation of the Chinese Entrepreneur Club (CEC) concluded a tour in Italy on Thursday.

"Infrastructures are a field of great interest. There are many interesting projects being discussed here in Lombardy region," Max Ferrari, President of the Lombardy-China Association, told Xinhua on the sidelines of a press conference at the Milan world exposition.

Lombardy, of which the capital city is Milan, is considered the wealthiest region of Italy and one of the most developed areas in Europe. Several important Chinese companies and banks have offices and branches in Milan.

"For example I am speaking of trains and highways linking Italy's northern regions to Germany, Switzerland and other countries," Ferrari went on saying.

"The touristic sector is also connected to infrastructures, and can see significant development," he added.

The Expo Milano 2015, which will end on Oct 31, was an excellent platform for building synergies both at the business and institutional level that Ferrari hopes will take important steps forward.

Representatives of as many as 19 Chinese provinces and 937 companies visited the world exposition, which hosted 15 bilateral business forums with the signing of 23 agreements, according to official figures.

"China until recent times used to be considered a country very far from Italy. But the revival of the ancient Silk Road route thanks to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has shortened the distance and helped the exchange of people, goods and cultures," Ferrari told Xinhua.

This new Silk Road needs to be developed along a huge network of infrastructures, and Lombardy is very interested in seizing the opportunities offered by the Belt and Road initiative, said Paolo Besozzi, the head of Lombardy's infrastructure company.

Besozzi told Xinhua that the infrastructures in Lombardy region are the result of close collaboration between the public and the private sectors, both in construction and management activities.

"Therefore the synergy with countries like China that can be involved both in construction and in management are important for us. We are trying to understand what are the best spaces for collaboration in a variety of possible investments, from road and railways to health sector's infrastructures," he said.

The CEC delegation included most influential entrepreneurs from various key economic sectors, who met with their Italian counterparts and local authorities first in capital Rome and then in Florence, before concluding the tour in Milan.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks