Ningbo to get investment from Italy
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.