Trieste has hosted a “China-Italy Business Relationship” round table, an event designed to review economic-commercial relations between the two countries.
The event was organized by Fondazione Italia Cina (Italy-China Foundation), la Camera di Commercio Italo-Cinese (Italian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce) and Costa Crociere, the cruise ship company.
On March 3, the Costa Venezia cruise ship, built by Fincantieri SpA in Trieste, was scheduled to be launched. This is seen as a key event as the ship was built in Italy and will serve the Chinese market.
Also, the launch proceeds the state visit of China’s President Xi Jinping to Rome to meet President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, when a number of cooperation agreements are expected to be signed. This will be followed up by an international Silk Road event in Beijing April 24-27, which will be attended by Italian Prime Minister Conte.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as The Belt and Road, One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or the Belt and Road Initiative is a Chinese development strategy and framework that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between China and the rest of Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR). The strategy includes acquiring stakes in ports and other transport facilities to improve and speed up the transport of goods between China and Europe.
China’s new Silk Road project is viewed as a key development opportunity for many Mediterranean ports, and Trieste has prioritised the expansion of its rail connections with central and northern Europe, as it seeks a key role as a hub for transporting Chinese cargo from vessels docked in the port to markets in Europe.
Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Orientale (AdSP – Eastern Adriatic Sea Port Authority – Trieste) moved more than 67 million tons in 2018: 62.7 million in Trieste port and 4.5 million in Monfalcone.
The result is a new record for Trieste which is confirmed as Italy’s first stopover measured by total volumes with an increase of +1.20% compared to 2017, when it had closed with almost 62 million tons.
Also, at the end of 2018, 10,000 trains were handled, an increase of 12% over 2017 and a growth forecast of 10% for the current year. Trieste Marine Terminal has been very active in developing rail connections and promotes itself as the most natural gateway for both the Northern Italy and Central/Eastern Europe traffic.
Last month, Italian Economic Development Undersecretary Michele Geraci and Infrastructure Undersecretary Edoardo Rixi visited Trieste to plan for the role of the Trieste port in the New Silk Road, and called on local producers to forward proposals for cooperation with Chinese companies.