Ningbo to get in­vest­ment from Italy

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONG­NAN zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ningbo, a port city in East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince, inked on Thurs­day a 502 mil­lion euro ($679 mil­lion) deal with mul­ti­ple Ital­ian com­pa­nies to build an in­dus­trial park. The ini­tia­tive will help both sides ex­pand busi­ness ties with each other, govern­ment sources said.

The money will be jointly in­vested by both sides in 10 co­op­er­a­tive projects in a 40-square-kilo­me­ter Ning­boI­taly in­dus­trial zone in Yuyao, a county-level city.

High-end in­dus­tries, such as re­new­able en­ergy, waste treat­ment, life sci­ences, equip­ment and au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ing, will be de­vel­oped in the zone, ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment.

Gian­carlo In­no­cenzi Botti, head of In­vi­talia, which works on be­half of the Ital­ian govern­ment to pro­mote busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, said that as parts of Europe strug­gle to cre­ate new jobs, Italy has in­creas­ingly de­ployed re­sources out­side the euro zone, es­pe­cially in China, to fuel growth.

With a num­ber of Ital­ian and Euro­pean com­pa­nies mov­ing their businesses abroad, Ningbo’s emerg­ing mid­dle class, and la­bor and re­source in­te­gra­tion has made it a hot des­ti­na­tion for set­ting up fac­to­ries, in­no­va­tion cen­ters and over­seas branches.

“Ningbo’s com­pre­hen­sive and re­li­able trans­port net­works — in par­tic­u­lar, its four sur­round­ing air­ports and the port — make it an ideal des­ti­na­tion for over­seas in­vestors,” Botti said.

“Set­ting up com­pa­nies in Ningbo is a use­ful way to ex­port prod­ucts to both Chi­nese and over­seas mar­kets through de­vel­oped high­ways, rail­ways and air cargo ser­vices, as well as the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the sec­ond-largest port in­China.”

Botti said build­ing part­ner­ships with Chi­nese com­pa­nies is a prac­ti­cal way to gain ac­cess to the Chi­nese mar­ket. He added that In­vi­talia also wel­comes en­ter­prises from Ningbo to set up businesses in Italy to ben­e­fit from the tra­di­tion there of cre­ative hand­i­work and highly spe­cial­ized tech­nolo­gies.

In the past five years, In­vi­talia also as­sisted more than 30 big Chi­nese com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing ICBC and Huawei, to es­tab­lish of­fices in Italy.

China-Italy trade to­taled 33 bil­lion eu­ros in 2013, with about 9.9 bil­lion eu­ros’ worth com­ing from Italy and 23.1 bil­lion from China, data from the Bei­jing-head­quar­tered Chi­naI­taly Cham­ber of Com­merce showed.

Ea­ger to earn more from ex­ports, Ningbo has moved to­ward a high-tech, low­car­bon econ­omy by re­duc­ing the scale of la­bor- and en­ergy-in­ten­sive in­dus­tries, while also en­cour­ag­ing the de­vel­op­ment of high-tech in­dus­tries es­pe­cially au­to­mo­tive, re­new­able en­er­gies, lo­gis­tics and ma­chin­ery sec­tors.

Lu Ziyue, mayor of Ningbo, said the de­gree of in­ter­de­pen­dence be­tween Chi­nese and Ital­ian economies continues to deepen with surg­ing bi­lat­eral trade. Ningbo im­ports high-tech Ital­ian prod­ucts and high-end Ital­ian tech­nolo­gies through joint ven­tures, part­ner­ships and in­creas­ing busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Many of these op­por­tu­ni­ties also come from China’s na­tional plan to build the 21st Cen­tu­ryMar­itime Silk Road to con­nect more for­eign mar­kets,” Lu said.

Ac­cord­ing to Lu, eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion with Italy should con­tinue for the long term. Chi­nese com­pa­nies are ea­ger to ac­quire Ital­ian com­pa­nies to gain cut­tingedge tech­nol­ogy, es­pe­cially in the fields of chem­istry, bi­ol­ogy, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery.

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