Home » Strategic partner but rival in Africa: Italy’s view on China

Strategic partner but rival in Africa: Italy’s view on China

Minister Urso is currently on a preparatory mission ahead of PM Meloni’s upcoming visit at the end of the month. The discussions are primarily centred around green technology and electric mobility

A preparatory mission. A few days before Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s planned trip to China, the Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, arrived in Beijing this morning for a two-day mission to prepare for the Italian Prime Minister’s visit and to meet with both public and private stakeholders.

  • Specifically, Adolfo Urso intends to explore potential collaborations and industrial partnerships with several Chinese companies interested in investing in Italy and with Italian companies already established in China.
  • In the upcoming months, after Giorgia Meloni’s visit, the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, will be welcomed to China to “commemorate a significant year for both countries’ relations, marking the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s death.”

Green technology and electric mobility… were the main topics discussed during meetings between the Italian Minister, Urso, and the carmaker Chery and the China City Industrial Group (CCIG). They also met with the Minister of Industry, Jin Zhuanglong, and the Secretary of the Communist Party of Beijing Municipality, Yin Li.

  • The Minister stated, “Our decision to welcome Chinese investment, especially in green technology and electric mobility, is a strategic one made at the beginning of this term and has been followed up with technical missions to China.”
  • Other discussed sectors included the pharmaceutical industry and biomedical engineering, the top sectors of Italian exports to China. As Minister Urso mentioned, there is potential for growth in terms of investment in our country and an increase in exports.

A potential partner and a competitor. China’s increasing influence in Africa has raised concerns among Western partners. Minister Urso stated that China is considered a competitor in Africa, and Italy’s Mattei Plan aims to re-establish Europe’s presence on the continent.

  • During a recent visit to Eritrea, where China also has a strong presence, Minister Urso mentioned that the Chinese conduct their policies in Africa similarly to other countries.
  • He noted that Italy is willing to engage in dialogue and cooperation with all countries, but they may also be competitors in some cases. However, as they have already demonstrated, cooperation is possible in other cases.

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