On december 10, 2021 a meeting of the Italian System in China was held in Beijing. The meeting was chaired by the Ambassador of Italy in the People’s Republic of China, Luca Ferrari. It was attended by the Consuls General and Deputy Consuls of Shanghai, Canton, Chongqing and Hong Kong, the Directors of ICE Offices and those of the Italian Cultural Institutes of the Chinese network, as well as representatives of the various Italian Administrations present in Beijing (Defence, MEF, Bank of Italy, Customs, Guardia di Finanza (Italian Finance Police), State Police, ENIT (National Tourism Agency), SACE) and the President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China. The Director-General for Globalisation and Global Affairs of the Farnesina, Luca Sabbatucci, also spoke from Italy.
The meeting, the first in attendance since the beginning of the pandemic in China, aimed to jointly analyse the main Chinese trends of interest to Italy and coordinate the activities of the diplomatic-consular network for 2022.
From an economic perspective, the excellent results obtained in exports to China in the first ten months of 2021 were recorded, with a sustained growth of 28.3% compared to the same period in 2020 (20% over pre-pandemic 2019), for a total of 12.81 billion euros of goods and services exported from Italy.
In a period still strongly marked by the pandemic, the diplomatic-consular network will continue to coordinate to provide maximum assistance to compatriots. Among the main objectives on which the Italian System will continue to focus is strengthening connectivity and, in particular, the increase of direct air routes between Italy and China. 2022 will also be the year of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Italy-China Year of Tourism Culture. The diplomatic-consular network will therefore focus on the production of large-scale cultural events as well as encouraging an effective handover between Beijing and Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Ambassador Ferrari emphasised “the profound importance of teamwork to achieve our goals. The pandemic has forced us to tackle new and different challenges. In this regard, all the representatives of the Italian System in China have shown great professionalism and flexibility. Today’s meeting” – Ambassador Ferrari added – “has allowed us to set the direction for 2022, to strengthen the crucial results achieved this year and to put in place a rich programme of initiatives to enhance the Italian cultural and linguistic wealth.”