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Joint declaration | ITALY-CHINA: we face the crisis looking to the future

The Italy China Foundation and the Italian Chinese Chamber of Commerce are analyzing for now the developments of the epidemic caused by the Coronavirus and are identifying a program of activities that, in the course of 2020, can provide a concrete contribution to the recovery and relaunch of relations , not only economic, between Italy and China. To this end, we are in daily contact with the Chinese and Italian institutions, and with how many of our approximately 400 members turn to us to obtain timely and updated information on the situation, as well as to seek suppliers of protective sanitary material requested by the Chinese authorities.
We have proposed to the Italian institutions to start an ambitious communication plan in China and a promotional campaign to express to the Chinese people and its institutions the friendship, closeness and willingness of Italy to do everything possible to facilitate the resumption of normal economic activity and to return to connect China with our country also in terms of air passenger transport, as soon as the scientific evidence available internationally allows it.
The Italy China Foundation and the Italian Chinese Chamber of Commerce also appeal to quickly align the main European countries with the protective measures still needed, including those relating to air transport.
We are absolutely confident, based on the experience of our organizations, as well as on the research activities carried out by the Foundation's Study Center, that the Chinese economy will quickly start to grow again starting from the second, or at the latest from the third quarter of this year , with a similar dynamic to that recorded after the SARS crisis of 2002-2003 and of the financial crisis of 2008. This analysis, also with regard to the slowdown in the Chinese economy, coincides, moreover, to a large extent with those published by the Research Office of Intesa Sanpaolo and, in recent days, from major European research centers such as the IFO Institut in Munich. In particular, the latter determines the level of vulnerability of the Eurozone economy and that of the main European economy, the German one, in the measure of 0.06% for Germany and 0.01% for the Eurozone.
The cyclical effects on the Chinese economy in the first quarter will mainly derive from the contraction in consumption and the interruption of industrial production lines, which in many cases lasted beyond the expected 15 days. Factories are gradually reopening these days but it is not currently possible to predict to what extent, production rates will return to normal.
As far as our country is concerned, in addition to the negative impact on Italian exports of 13 billion euros, we would like to remind you that according to our findings, in the Greater China that includes Hong Kong, there are around 2000 companies owned by Italian companies, therefore the interruption of production in these days will not fail to reverberate on their income statement in China and Italy. To these are added the over 600 companies operating in Italian territory in which Chinese investors participate, which will inevitably suffer direct consequences.
An important factor of vulnerability in Italy derives from the significant tourist flow which this year was expected to generate about 5 million overnight stays of Chinese tourists in Italian cities and which, we estimate, can be reduced by at least 25%, if we take into account that about a quarter of arrivals historically are concentrated in the two weeks of the Chinese New Year, which this year was held between 25 January and 8 February. The reduction of the tourist flow also implies for us a significant reduction in the sales of luxury goods since about 30% of the Tax Free purchases are made by Chinese tourists.
For these reasons, the Italy-China Foundation and the Italian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce are already planning a series of high-level events, seminars and meetings in Italy and China to facilitate the recovery and relaunch of economic relations as early as next spring. Among the most relevant initiatives, we will dedicate resources and energies to organize the participation of an important number of Italian companies at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, scheduled for next November. To this end, we sincerely hope that the Italian institutions will support us in this important initiative, bearing in mind that for the Chinese government, the Shanghai Expo will be a litmus test to assess the willingness of the partner countries to resume and relaunch relations with China, a country now essential as a growth engine for the global economy in general and the Italian one in particular.

Allegato 1: Dichiarazione congiunta Camera di Commercio Italo Cinese IT-CN.pdf


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Italy China Council Foundation

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