Italy economy minister cautious over trade ties with China

Italy economy minister cautious over trade ties with China
Italy’s newly appointed Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti looks on during a swearing-in ceremony at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome on Oct 22, 2022. (File photo: Reuters/Guglielmo Mangiapane)

ROME: Italy must be increasingly cautious in its trade ties with China, Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti was quoted as saying on Friday (Apr 14) in reference to Rome’s partnership in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative project.

In 2019, Italy became the first major industrialised nation to sign up for the initiative, a multinational project designed to expand China’s trade footprint.

However, little has so far come of the pact, which was signed during a state visit to Italy by Chinese President Xi Jinping and is due for renewal in 2024.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said last year, before she was elected, that she did not want to favour Chinese expansion into Italy or Europe.

“The geopolitical context and what I have perceived leads to an even more cautious approach than in the past,” Giorgetti was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA on the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington.

A final assessment on the initiative will be given by Meloni, he said.

Source: Reuters/kg