Trade between Italy and China did not improve as much as had been hoped after Italy’s participation in the so-called New Silk Road four years ago. This was stated by Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani before his departure for China.
The new Silk Road, officially called the Belt and Road Initiative, should stimulate trade between Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. China has invested hundreds of billions in building roads, railways and other infrastructure to build those trade routes.
Italy joined the project in 2019. The country was the first major Western economy to participate in the New Silk Road, despite objections from the United States.
But according to Tajani, the results are not at the level hoped for and they are now studying whether to extend participation. The agreement to join the Chinese initiative expires in March next year, and Rome has until December to withdraw. Otherwise, the membership will be extended for another five years.
Tajani is scheduled to pay a three-day visit to Beijing. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she wants to visit China on one of her upcoming foreign trips. There has been dissatisfaction in Italy for some time about participation in the New Silk Road because China in particular would benefit from this in its trade relations with the Italians.
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