Today my speech at the China Outlook 2020 Conference of the European Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. We talked about China’s economic outlook, trade war and business prospects. Here are my six bullets:
During the China International Import Expo 2019 in Shanghai, I talked about the Italy and China trade relationship on Caixin one of the leading media in China. Here are my key points for the interview: 1) Although Italy and China manufacturing overlap with a high degree of 60%, more cooperation of the complementary 40% will bring opportunities in trade; 2) Chinese companies should do more greenfield investment in Italy to balance the nature of investment flows, which is skewed too much towards M&A. 3) Focus on cross-cultural exchanges. Language and cultural barrier causes cognitive barriers between Italy and China which then lead to missing business opportunities. More knowledge means lower risks and higher propensity to invest. After all, Italia and Chinese culture are very similar, especially with Southern Italy (Trust me on this!)
Export of our Made in Italy is confirmed as driving force of our economy. Representing about one third of the country’s GDP, every 1% of export growth translates into 0.3% growth in Italy’s overall GDP. In line with our strategy “Protection of Key Countries and Promotion of Emerging Countries”, a major push came from non-EU countries, where we have concentrated our institutional trips. Great performance of our export in the United States, from where we have just returned.
To guarantee this technological leap linked to international trade, we need to implement a strategy based on three pillars: 1) digitalisation, 2) the development of digital payment systems and 3) the strengthening of the logistics sector. Without one of these factors, the internationalization of companies cannot be completed, in a world that always gives more room to digital forms of trade, even cross-border.
Start-ups should be getting more attention for their contributions to employment. According to Tim Kane (Figure 1), startups create most new net jobs in the US. Between 1977 and 2005 they contributed nearly all the roughly two million to three million new jobs created every year.