Ambassador's speech at Rotary's event

Sincere partners and common opportunities 

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

  Good evening! I feel delighted to attend tonight’s event. ROTARY is an organization with a long history, committed to international friendship and social services. CINITALIA is an important platform to promote mutual understanding through the exchange of information and candid dialogues between China and Italy. Hereby I would like to express my appreciation to both of you for your excellent arrangements for the event.

  I worked in Italy more than 10 years ago, and this time I started less than 6 months ago. Everything is warm and familiar as before. The only difference is that the relations between China and Italy are deeper and closer. Not long ago, I visited the Barilla Company. I was amazed to learn that the company’s revenue reached 10 million euro since its entry into the Chinese market in 2013 and is expected to top 100 million euro by 2016. In comparison, back in 1970 when China and Italy established diplomatic relations, the bilateral trade volume was only 120 million US dollars, less than 100 million euro. Such examples are many. All of you are elites in various sectors of Italy, and many of you have witnessed the sound development of Sino-Italian friendship and cooperation. I would like to take this occasion to share with you how to better understand China and the opportunities along with its development.

  Leaders from China and Italy say that in Europe Italy is one of the best friends of China and Sino-Italian relations have always been at the forefront of China-EU partnerships. This is not only due to the mutual admiration of Eastern and Western civilizations for thousands of years, but is also based on the robust and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields which brings tangible benefits to our peoples. Let me just give you a simple example: by the end of 2013, 94 Companies from mainland China and 54 Companies from Hong Kong have invested or taken shares in 272 Italian enterprises with 12 thousands employees and a total revenue of 5.7 billion euro. Meanwhile, in China, Italy has invested in over 5000 projects worth more than 6 billion U.S. dollars. Those data revealed the current fruitful and gratifying cooperation between China and Italy. In addition, personnel exchanges and technological cooperation are thriving. We set up the Sino Italian Facility fund for energy and environment to promote a number of major projects with significant achievements. We established 11 Confucius Institutes and 20 Confucius Classrooms. Besides, projects like Chinese Culture Year and exhibition exchanges have promoted mutual understandings between the two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnerships between China and Italy. The leaders of both sides are expected to exchange visits this year. Italy will assume the presidency of the EU in the second half of the year and will host the Asia-Europe Summit Meeting. Next year the Expo will be hosted in Milan. Those events present valuable opportunities for development of Sino-Italian relations. A month ago, the first visit to Europe by Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted China’s importance attached to Europe and its efforts to develop China-EU partnerships. China proposes to build China-EU partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization. Sino-Italian relations are an important part of China-EU partnerships. The increasingly warming up China-EU partnerships will effectively expedited Sino-Italian relations. Our pragmatic cooperation in various fields enjoys broad prospects.

  China has now entered a new stage of deepened reform and opening-up. China is committed to a Chinese Dream, the renaissance of our nation, through new industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. As President Xi Jinping said, the Chinese Dream relates to Chinese people’s pursuit of a wonderful life, and to the pursuit of peace and development by people from all countries. The Chinese Dream promotes the World’s Dream of lasting peace and common prosperity. Over the next 5 years, China’s import will top 10 trillion US dollars, its foreign investment will reach 500 billion US dollars; outbound tourists will exceed 400 million person times. All those offer greater commercial opportunities to all countries around the world.

  As Europe's second largest manufacturing and agricultural country, Italy is strong in high-end manufacturing, energy savings and environmental protection, fashion design and modern agriculture, with a large number of small-and-medium sized enterprises of international competitiveness. These fully meet China's aspiration for economic transformation along with its huge domestic demand potential. Before my arrival in Italy, I visited some Chinese provinces and cities, all of them welcome Italian investments. Since arrived, many Italian businessmen have expressed their willingness to invest in China. Currently, over 4000 Italian enterprises invested in China and most of them are successful. I believe that as long as the two sides take the opportunity and give each other a hand, the road to cooperation will certainly be smoother and broader.

  Of course, we must see that many Italian enterprises, especially small-and-medium sized enterprises, still face some kind of obstacles to invest in China. Some of them lack funds or are too small in size. I suggest Italian industries with their strongholds can increase their publicity in China and invest in public relations, gather better information to fully understand the needs of the Chinese market, or work with Chinese enterprises and invest through Chinese partners. In these ways they could grow bigger and stronger and extend their market shares in China. In the near future, the Bank of China will launch a "global investment platform of e-commerce and investment for small-and-medium sized enterprises", which will provide legal, financial and other services to both Italian and Chinese small-and-medium sized enterprises so as to effectively exchange the information and address small-and-medium sized enterprises’ core concerns.

  China will continue to encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Italy, to go further into Italy and to integrate into Italy. A number of Chinese enterprises like Huawei, Zoomlion, Foton Lovol have enjoyed success in Italy while contributing to the italian society through local employment. For example, Huawei has business ties with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Poste Italiane, Municipality of Rome and AXA Insurance. Over 80% of its 700 employees are Italians. Huawei is making contribution to the economic growth and improving employment of Italy. That’s the win-win deal.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  China and Italy may seem far apart geographically, but we in fact share the same time and space. Both China and Italy are at crucial stage of reform and development. That makes us connected. More than 2000 years ago, the silk road ran through the Eurasia continent, binding China and Rome together; last year, president Xi Jinping proposed that we should develop the Silk road economic belt which based on the splendid cooperation among Eurasia countries, and make it a economic Corridor which could benefit 3 billion people. I believe that, with the help of Silk road economic belt, China and Italy are sure to promote steady development of bilateral relations and achieve more practical results. I hope to work with our friends present tonight to build a bridge of common cultural prosperity, driving closer our civilizations to let flowers of mankind blossom. Let us build a bridge of growth and prosperity, joining the markets of China and Italy to mobilize people, businesses, capital and technologies of the two countries for win-win development. Let us build a bridge of reform and progress, reinforcing our dialogue and cooperation in various fields and drawing upon each other's reform experience, by doing that, promote development and progress in the world.

  Finally, I would like to thank our friends from Rotary and CINITALIA, as well as friends from AIDDA again.

  Thank you,

director of CINITALIA, Giovanni Cubeddu,

director of CRI in Italy, Zhang Guocheng,

president of Gbtimes Italy, Piero Idini,

governor of Rotary, Piergiorgio Poddighe,

president of Rotary, Ada Passaretta

Thank you all.

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