Proposing Italy as a gateway to Europe for freight transport and the cruises coming from Asia, as well as reaffirming its strategic role as interconnection and logistics point between the Eastern and the Western World , were the main objectives on which focused the meeting between the Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, Graziano Delrio, and the Chinese Ministers of Transport, which was held in Beijing, in the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) People’s Republic of China, on the sidelines of the State visit to China of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
Delrio explained to his Chinese interlocutors the advantages that the Northern Adriatic and Ligurian Sea Ports can offer to China, in order to achieve the full implementation of the OBOR Project “One Belt One Road” in the maritime and rail sectors, highlighting the significant reforms introduced by the National Strategic Plan for Ports and Logistics in terms of simplification of the customs controls and procedures, in terms of speeding up the transfer of goods from ships to railway, in terms of optimization of the port infrastructures’ management and the decisions related to their investments. Furthermore, the Italian sea ports can rely on a network connection to a modern and developed railway network, capable of linking Italy with the different European areas.
A particular attention was also devoted to infrastructure investments as well as the possibility of developing joint projects in this sector with the Chinese public entities and with those companies which have strong interests in increasing their capabilities outside China and which can find interesting opportunities in our Country, both in commercial and financial terms as well as in terms of the sharing of the know-how and management skills.
Minister Delrio focused on investments also during the meeting with the ICBC’s CEO, which is the largest bank in the world in terms of total assets and which is aiming at expanding its portfolio of international activities, showing a specific interest for our Country. The meeting focused on the shared bilateral intention to define concrete projects, to harmoniously combine the financial and implementing aspects of the projects, to remove the potential obstacles and difficulties that still hinder the capital inflows from China to Italy.
Last, Minister Delrio has discussed with the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority about the further development of the good relations already existing between Italy and China in the air sector. Both parties expressed their intention to develop direct air links between the two Countries under conditions of reciprocity, in order to enhance the increasing tourist flows by increasing the frequency of flights, by varying the arrival airports for both flight directions, by opening up the market to new operators. In this context, Delrio supported the request from Alitalia to have better operational conditions at the Beijing airport as well as expressing the Italian Aeronautical Industry’s wish for promoting more simple and quicker issuing procedures of aircraft certifications, enabling our industry to introduce its core products on the rapidly-growing Chinese market.