Michele Geraci talked about global challenges and opportunities under Trump’s era at the opening ceremony of the 2017 CRRC Advanced International Talent Development Programme, at the University of Nottingham, China. Geraci also discussed Trieste port as an example of terminal for the Maritime Silk Road. Trieste port, located at Italy, is a key location for the 21st Maritime Silk Road. It has a big competitive advantage with Central Europe and it has direct links to Germany and, from there, direct links to Scandinavia.
The president of Italy is currently in china for an official state visit. This state visit comes at an interesting time for both China and Italy: the two countries are engaging more than before into a commercial dialogue of mutual respect and common interests, trade between the two counties shows good sign of improvement and Italian trade deficit appears to narrow slightly and capital investments made in the past couple of years have all helped improve the image that the Italian Business community has of China.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi claimed that China has been consistently supporting the European integration and China is willing to work with the European side for the world’s peace and development. To understand China’s continuing official declaration of support for the EU and the unity of Europe, we also have to bear in mind that sometimes China uses each one of the 28 members of the EU as 28 potential choices of entry. What the EU sees as a strength, that is its own unity, China sees it as EU weakness, because China’ strategy is one of Divide et impera.
China’s outbound property investment plunged 84% in January ’17, compared to January ’16, while for the whole of 2016, the non-financial outbound investment surged by 44% to a new record of 170 billion USD. Howerver, SAFE’s director, Mr Pan, claims that China is not taking any measure to restrict capital outflows and that the recent decline is only due to the abnormal increase posted during 2016. I tend to agree with Mr Pan, in that 2016 might have been an abnormal growth year, one cannot entirely dismiss the recent measures taken by the Chinese government that tend to make transfer of capital abroad a little bit less easier than before.
Italian newspaper la Repubblica today reports about the growing interest of Italian government towards China. Presidents Mattarella will shortly visit China, and this follows quite frequent visit by undersecretary of development Mr. Scalfarotto.
China’s foreign reserves slipped below the $3 trillion level in January, the lowest level since February 2011. In the background of a lacking economic confidence and rising trade protectionism throughout the world, the implications of the decline of China’s foreign reserves remains to be seen. It is a concern because the world has been used to China accumulating reserves. The main concern is not the level of reserves, but is the trend.
In Jan, the figure of China’s import and export is far beyond expection. Export increase by 7.9% increase YoY calculated by USD, and 15.2% increase if calculated by RMB. Import also increased dramatically, with 16.7% by USD and 25.2% by RMB. My advice is from now on to look at the combined values of both current account and capital accounts, roughly speaking trade and capital investment balances.
“I welcomed President Xi Jinping’s commitment in fighting against protectionism,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at a seminar on China’s reform agenda, organized by Business Europe in Brussels. I think the EU representatives don’t seem to fully understand that China does not intend to deal with Europe as a block, rather it prefers to do bilateral deals with individual countries, of course within the limits of what EU regulation allows since trade policy lives in Brussels and not in the European individual countries.