By Marzia De Giuli & Song Jian
MILAN, Oct. 29 (PNA/Xinhua) — Wednesday was a fruitful day for the collaboration between China and Italy, whose authorities and entrepreneurs met at the China Pavilion of the Milan world exposition to sign deals and exchange views.
Six collaboration projects were signed, involving important companies and institutions from the two countries such as China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), Politecnico di Milano university, Shanghai Lingang Group, China Corporate United Pavilion (CCUP), Shanghai Fisheries General Corporation Group (SFGCG) and Italy-China Chamber of Commerce.
The event, dedicated to the China-proposed "Belt and Road" initiative and Chinese brands, was organized by CCUP, one of the two corporate pavilions that China has besides its self-built national pavilion at the Expo Milano 2015.
Agri-food, design, services, machinery, tourism and especially infrastructures were at the center of Wednesday's round tables, in which professionals and authorities from both countries confronted their opinions.
With the 17,000-kilometer high speed railway line, above 60 percent of the global total, China offers huge collaboration potential to countries with strong technological skills, such as Italy. Food, the leading theme of Expo Milano 2015, was highlighted as another sector with considerable space for bilateral cooperation.
"Perhaps it is the first time that a world exposition has such a relevant economic component… this was made possible by all participant countries and in particular by China with its strong presence in the Expo," Fabrizio Sala, Vice President of Lombardy region of which the capital city is Milan, said in his remarks at the event.
More than 16,000 business meetings involving nearly 12,000 Italian and international companies were organized by the Milan Chamber of Commerce during the six-month exposition that will end on Saturday, Sala highlighted.
"This patrimony of relations and experiences will be one of the Expo's main legacies," he stressed.
Sala noted that in the first seven months of this year, Italy's largest association Coldiretti has registered a record 7-percent rise in agri-food overall exports, which it attributed to the recovering economy but also the Expo's positive impact. In particular, exports to China have increased by as much as 32.7 percent.
He also said that Lombardy, considered the wealthiest region of Italy and one of the most developed areas in Europe, plays a key role in the relations with China. "Bilateral exchanges have surpassed 7 billion euros (USD7.6 billion) in the first half of the year, with a 13-percent growth compared to the same period of last year," he added.
"Today, China is for us a strategic and fundamental partner," Sala went on saying. The Milan world exposition, he added, was the occasion for Italy to fully realize the protagonist role of Chinese economy on the global scene. "Thanks to China, Lombardy had restarted to run fast and drive the entire Italian economy," he concluded.
Chen Anjie, Executive Committee Chairman of the CCUP, highlighted the corporate pavilion has organized more than 200 economic, commercial and cultural events during the Milan Expo. Over 2,000 Chinese and Italian entrepreneurs took part in the CCUP events, which led to signing of 200 cooperation agreements involving all the most important regions and cities of Italy, Chen said.
In fact, the Expo Milano 2015 has laid solid foundations for Italian companies to collaborate with Chinese counterparts in a post-Expo era that is expected to be highly fruitful, he added. On the occasion of Wednesday's event, Chen was given a medal of the Italian parliament in gratitude for the key role of CCUP in bringing China and Italy closer during the Milan Expo. (PNA/Xinhua)