Trade between China and Italy has not improved as expected since Rome joined China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative in 2019, the Italian foreign minister said Saturday.
“If we analyze it, it did not bring the results we expected,” Antonio Tajani said at the European House – Ambrosetti, an annual international economic forum, in Cernobbio, northern Italy, ahead of leaving for China Saturday afternoon for a three-day diplomatic mission.
He said last year’s trade figures between the two countries are lower than those between China and France and China and Germany.
Italy signed the accord with China despite the protests of allies, such as the US and the EU, and was the first major Western nation doing it.
Under the accord, the two countries agreed to carry out business deals in many sectors ranging from energy and transport to industry and finance, and implement jointly financed infrastructure projects.
“Parliament will have to assess and decide whether to renew or not our participation in this project,” Tajani said.
The agreement between China and Italy expires in March next year and Italy has until December to formally withdraw from it, otherwise the partnership will be extended for five years.
The top diplomat also said the country should forge ahead with the privatization of state-owned assets and government-controlled companies, or at least parts of them.
Source : AA