Di­a­logue to boost re­la­tions with Italy

China Daily European Weekly - - BUSINESS - By CHEN JIA chen­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Con­struc­tive di­a­logue on eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial poli­cies will help pro­mote closer ties be­tween China and Italy, es­pe­cially at a time when the lat­ter is de­ter­mined to fur­ther open up its fi­nan­cial and goods mar­kets, a top Ital­ian of­fi­cial said.

“The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Italy and China has al­ways been very good, and we wish to fur­ther strengthen it,” Gio­vanni Tria, Italy’s min­is­ter of econ­omy and fi­nance, said in an in­ter­view with China Daily.

Tria, who re­cently held meet­ings with Chi­nese Fi­nance Min­is­ter Liu Kun, de­scribed the dis­cus­sions as “very fruit­ful” and high­lighted the need for en­hanc­ing mu­tual di­a­logue and es­tab­lish­ing more struc­tured method­ol­ogy to eval­u­ate mu­tual un­der­stand­ing of both sides’ poli­cies.

Fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion will fo­cus on sec­tors in­clud­ing tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, re­new­able en­er­gies, agri­cul­ture and in­fra­struc­ture, ac­cord­ing to the Ital­ian of­fi­cial, who said he be­lieves that co­op­er­a­tion can ben­e­fit Ital­ian and Chi­nese com­pa­nies alike.

A state­ment from China’s Min­istry of Fi­nance, is­sued on its web­site, said the two sides had dis­cussed the cur­rent macroe­co­nomic sit­u­a­tion, co­op­er­a­tion rel­e­vant to the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and push­ing for­ward fis­cal and fi­nan­cial pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion.

Tria said: “The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive is a pos­i­tive and po­ten­tially trans­for­ma­tive ini­tia­tive for the ma­jor ar­eas around the world. It is a great pro­ject of in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion aimed at link­ing economies, so­ci­eties and peo­ples.

“It also rep­re­sents a great op­por­tu­nity for Europe and Italy in par­tic­u­lar. Italy is in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in strate­gic in­fra­struc­ture projects along the land and sea routes.”

Though con­cerns over global trade fric­tion from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures have been af­fect­ing mar­ket val­u­a­tions and volatil­ity, the Ital­ian min­is­ter said: “Pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies never bring ben­e­fits to eco­nomic devel­op­ment. It is nec­es­sary to de­velop a gen­uine di­a­logue aim­ing to rise above cur­rent di­vi­sions for the ben­e­fit of global growth.”

The lat­est eco­nomic indicators, though mixed, seem to point to a mod­er­at­ing global eco­nomic ex­pan­sion, which is be­com­ing less syn­chro­nized and even across coun­tries, ex­perts say. In Europe, there are some signs of mod­er­a­tion in the re­cent fore­cast due to un­cer­tainty on the evo­lu­tion of cur­rent trade ten­sions that could neg­a­tively af­fect in­vest­ment de­ci­sions.

Chi Shi, a re­searcher at Ren­min Univer­sity of China, says the two coun­tries could fur­ther strengthen their re­la­tion­ship in bi­lat­eral trade

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