China invests in Italy: new opportunities for our country

China invests in Italy: new opportunities for our country

In the last years, Chinese companies have acquired major made in Italy brands, particularly in the fashion, industrial, energy and telecommunication fields. A huge turnover that has uplifted many national companies and that set the basis for a more and more useful exchange between Italy and Asia.

In the most recent years, Italy has become the country Chinese companies desire most for investments, after United Kingdom.

In fact, since 2010, China has been investing more than 10 billion € in our country, with the record of over 5 billions in 2014. Now Chinese people own the 27% of foreign investments in Italy and about 300 companies that employ almost 18000 people and produce 8, 4 billion € of our GNP.

In a first phase, Beijing was interested mainly in small industrial companies with investments that hardly went beyond 100 M €; in these years, on the other hand, big industrialists and sovereign funds have made more important purchases, which in the past belonged exclusively to USA and Great Britain. Within the 2% threshold, there are Unicredit, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Intesa Sanpaolo, Generali Assicurazioni and Mediobanca, purchased by the Bank of China, as well as Eni, Telecom and Enel for the energy and telecommunications field. Among the acquisitions exceeding the 2%, there are Fiat – Chrysler, Prysmian, Saipem and Terna

But the field in which Chinese companies invest most is fashion.

The Pinco Pallino, Miss Sixty, Sergio Tacchini, Roberta di Camerino, Mariella Burani brand have been acquired by 100%, Salvatore Ferragamo by 6% and Caruso by 35%. The most famous case is Krizia, purchased in 2014 by Shenzhen Marisfrolg Fashion co, one of the leading company of high price category ready to wear in Asia.

The Chinese investments often reveal themselves very positive, even a safety possibility for Italian companies. Such as in the case of Ferretti group, that in 2010 had to face difficulties but, after its acquisition (75%) by Shig – Weichai in 2012, has managed to become one of the main brand in the boatyard fields.

Or in the case of Pirelli, purchased with a majority share by the Chinese colossus of ChemChina chemical industry, passed from the fourteenth place to the fourth place as a worldwide player in the Industrial field.

Besides, there are many direct investments of Chinese groups opening branches in Italy

For example the Bank of China is in Milan since 1998, and since 2007 has opened the consultancy company China Milan Equity Exchange. In 2011 the electronic colossus Huawei has launched is first research centre out of China in Segrate, about the study of microwaves, allowing to a lot of highly qualified engineer to work in their own country, rather than emigrate looking for fortune.

Recently Haier, Cosco, Baosteel, China Ocean Shippping Compan, Nanjing Corporation and the Jihua clothes group.

Italy has become a country Chinese investors desire so much mainly for three reasons:

  • For its geographic position, making it a critical point in the “new silk way”, an initiative aimed at the improvement of the connections and the cooperation among Eurasian countries;
  • For the high level of technology and know – how

  • For the strong attraction that brands and products from North America and Europe, particularly from our country, exercise on Asian consumers.

China, in turn, is an interesting opportunity for Italian companies.

Not only thanks to its high availability of liquid assets that allow to face the current economic crisis, but also because it guarantees the access to Asian market – among the most promising ones in the world- in which the national enterprises, too fragile and small, could not manage the global competition.

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