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Portrait of SMEs between ITALY and CHINA | The new study of the Foundation presented

The Italy China Foundation today presented the report "The role of SMEs in relations between Italy and China: scenario analysis and indications of partners and businesses", prepared by its Business Studies Center (CeSIF). During the online meeting, the results of the "Which China for SMEs" survey conducted among the members of the Italy China Foundation, the Italian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and selected Italian companies and SMEs operating with China were illustrated. Thanks to the partners but also to the support of Assolombarda, CNA, Ucimu, Aice-Confcommercio, Federlegno Arredo, Promex-Made in Vicenza, ISTAO - Istituto Adriano Olivetti and others, it was possible to question a selected sample of 180 companies that maintain constant relationships with the Asian country. The result is contained in a 57-page report, accompanied by 50 graphs and 10 tables, which was also translated into Chinese.

The members of the Foundation will receive a digital copy of the report in these days. Non-members can request it by sending an email to Cinzia Savoldi at

"Despite the pandemic - said Li Bin, Minister Advisor for Economy and Commerce of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Italy, speaking at the presentation -, cooperation between our two countries has not stopped and China remains an immense market for Italian companies that want to seize this opportunity. The hope is that the Foundation will continue to play a strong role between Italy and China, always by our side for a collaboration that is truly win win ".

"The attention of the Italy China Foundation is maximum towards the national business fabric that will have to overcome the obstacle of the pandemic crisis, inevitably having to consider China as a reference partner for the recovery - reads the preface signed by the President of the Italy China Foundation, Mario Boselli -. 2021 will be a turning point for the health of many economic operators and for the opportunities to be seized in the renewed context of a China that promotes domestic consumption and fosters international relations. Knowing the characteristics of SMEs, or those who are often the main protagonists of economic relations between Italy and China, and listening to their voice is a fundamental exercise for the success of trade ”.

SMEs BETWEEN ITALY AND CHINA_ The report questions the opportunities for economic cooperation between Italy and China in the post Covid-19 era. The gaze is that of SMEs, which represent the backbone of industrial production in both countries. The value of the document is given by the fact that it allows you to identify who are those who animate the Italian commercial action and above all it asks them directly what their expectations and perceptions are with respect to the relationship with China, increasingly seen as an outlet market.

The survey is part of a broader examination of the state of economic relations between Italy and China, with particular attention to Italian and Chinese SMEs. In fact, small and medium-sized enterprises in China are worth 60% of GDP, 80% of urban employment and 80% of exports. Similarly, 96.5% of Italian companies exporting to East Asia are SMEs for a weight of 50.2% of the value of exports. The reference context in which the analysis is inserted is that of the interchange between Italy and China characterized - especially on the route to the East - by a strong specialization in highly technological or highly creative products, as in the case of products in the fashion sector. .

THE QUESTIONNAIRE AND RECOMMENDATIONS_ After a focus on trade with China and the opportunities offered to Italian SMEs by the Belt and Road Initiative and the China International Import Expo, the second part of the report includes the analysis of a questionnaire that involved 180 Italian companies in business with China, representing different sectors and different geographical areas. The results that emerged from the questionnaire show a very useful cross-section for defining future actions aimed at improving economic relations between the two countries.

Based on the analysis of the context and the answers that emerged from the questionnaire, it was possible to make a series of recommendations that can be applied to Italian companies and institutions on the one hand and to Chinese companies and institutions on the other. 


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Italy China Council Foundation

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