Home » Trade and diplomacy: Italy’s upcoming engagements with China

Trade and diplomacy: Italy’s upcoming engagements with China

At a press conference during the G7 summit in Apulia, PM Meloni announced her plans for an upcoming mission to Beijing. She also advocated for fair competition, with potential investments on the table, including a significant project by car manufacturer Dongfeng, which aims to revitalize Italy's industrial capacity

Meloni’s China mission. During a press conference at the end of the G7 summit in Apulia, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni revealed plans for an upcoming mission to China.

  • While specific dates have yet to be confirmed, Meloni emphasized her intention to follow through on an invitation extended by Chinese President Xi Jinping some time ago.
  • “We are currently working on a mission to China for the upcoming weeks,” Meloni stated. “It is definitely one of the things I would like to do.”

Demand for fair competition. The G7 summit reached a strong stance on China, placing emphasis on the importance of fair competition. Prime Minister Meloni delivered a clear message to China, underscoring the value of maintaining open communication while ensuring that competition is balanced.

  • “We are open to dialogue, but our businesses must be able to compete fairly, as a market can only be truly open if it is also fair,” Meloni stated during the press conference.
  • She stressed the need for a level playing field and the need for free markets to operate within an equity framework.

China in the spotlight. The summit’s final communiqué mentioned China 29 times, reflecting the changing geopolitical landscape and increased attention to issues related to China.

  • The communiqué addressed various concerns, such as cyber security, encroachments in the Indo-Pacific region, the situation in Taiwan, and the call for China to pressure Russia for genuine peace with Ukraine.
  • Furthermore, the G7 restated its sanctions against Chinese organizations that provide significant support for Russia’s war efforts.

Strategic trade talks. Before Meloni’s upcoming visit to China, Italian Minister of Enterprises Adolfo Urso is scheduled to be in Beijing on July 4th. Prior to this visit, Urso emphasized that the current Italian government has never utilized the “golden power” to block Chinese acquisitions, showcasing a nuanced approach to economic relations with China.

  • Later in the month, Prime Minister Meloni will meet with President Xi Jinping. The discussions will cover various topics, including a significant investment by Dongfeng, a state-controlled Chinese car manufacturer.
  • This investment aims to address Italy’s unused industrial capacity, potentially leading to the production of 400 to 500 thousand Chinese electric cars per year. This initiative may involve resurrecting old Italian brands currently owned by the government.

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