Montag, 24.09.2018 07:26 Uhr

New bilateral economic and financial ties: Itay and China

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 30.08.2018, 11:11 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] Italy is showing ample willingness to strengthen bilateral economic and financial ties with the People Republic of China during the mission of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance . Economy Minister Giovanni Tria in Beijing met the Executive Director of the Silk Road Fund and the chairmen of China Construction Bank and China Investment Corporation and is continuing his meetings in Beijing.

Tria met the Executive Director of the Silk Road Fund, Wang Yanzhi, with whom he developed the standpoints for collaboration and investment, also in third countries, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Another important meeting of Tria has been with the Chairman of China Construction Bank (the second bank of PRC), Tian Guoli, and the President of China Investment Corporation, Tu Guangshao. At the meeting was present also the CEO of the Deposit and Consignment Office-CDP, Fabrizio Palermo, in order to assess the collaborations underway and set the stage for further investment initiatives in traditional and innovative sectors.

Deposit and Consignment Office (Cassa depositi e prestiti) and the Bank of China signed a preliminary agreement aimed at encouraging an active collaboration between the two institutions, in the fields of export support, financing of infrastructure and of environmental sustainability projects and in activities on the capital markets so as to share experience and expertise, in order to gain a better understanding of the respective operating models. The two Institutes therefore express their intention to play an active role in strengthening the process of internationalization of Italian companies in China, with particular attention to small and medium-sized companies, also within the" Belt and Road " initiative of the Chinese government.

The idea is to collaborate for the introduction of peculiar financial products and to provide skills and resources to promote the growth and competitiveness of Italian businesses operating in the Asian country. The new partnership envisages, especially, the launch of a potential Deposit and Consignment Office- loan operation in favor of Intesa Sanpaolo, aimed at providing provisions for an amount of up to 200 million euro, to be used to support the financing needs of the internationalization of Italian companies in China or of companies based in China and controlled by Italian companies. This is a first pilot project, which could be extended to similar operations, with the involvement of other banks as well.

During his meetings, Minister Tria emphasized in particular the interdependence of the Italian and Chinese economies and the great potentials of collaboration, starting from the development of the Silk Road maritime terminals in Italian North Tyrrhenian Sea and North Adriatic harbors, natural passage points to direct entry into the trans-European transport network. The Minister also had an exchange with the President of the National Social Security Fund - former Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, on the ways to address the aging of the population.

Minister Tria also was present during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between SNAM and State Grid International Development, 100% controlled by the State Grid Corporation of China, the largest energy utility in the world. The memorandum of understanding is to evaluate a range of possible opportunities for collaboration in China and at international level. In particular in relation to the use of new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. The Bank of Italy, on the other side, has decided to create a portfolio in renminbi as part of its foreign reserves management. The investment will be mainly in Chinese government securities.

This form of direct investment is in addition to its subscription, in recent years, to a specialized fund in renminbi managed by the Bank for International Settlements. According to the press release of Baca d’Italia the decision was taken as part of the annual review of the investment strategies for the reserves managed by the Bank of Italy. This reflects the renminbi’s greater role as an international currency, which is also proved by its inclusion in the IMF’s SDR basket in 2016, as well as China’s importance as a trading partner for Italy.

The goal of the investment is to diversify the Bank’s foreign currency reserves and is in line with similar decisions taken recently by the ECB and other euro-area national central banks. The transactions will be intermediated by the central bank of the People’s Republic of China, which acts as an agent for the Bank of Italy in Chinese markets following an agreement to that effect. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Fincantieri and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the largest Chinese shipbuilding conglomerate: it concerns the expansion of industrial cooperation already underway to all segments of merchant shipbuilding.

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