Italy China Foundation hosts economic conference in Xi'an     Updated: 2020-01-14

The 2020 China-Italy Economic Cooperation and Exchange Conference was held at the Grand Hyatt Xi'an on Jan 9, organized and hosted by Fondazione Italian China (Italy China Foundation) and co-hosted by Chic Group.  

The conference was intended to advance political, economic, and cultural development in both China and Italy, deepen cooperation between Italy and the city of Xi'an, as well as facilitate the swift development of China-Italian cooperation projects. Italy officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2019.

"In the spirit of the BRI, we have asked ourselves, where did this start in China? And the answer, of course, is Xi'an," Vincenzo Petrone, general manager of the Italy China Foundation, said during a press conference. "The next question we asked ourselves was what can we do to make Xi'an more well-known? So immediately, we realized, there is this great achievement in Xi'an, which is the Xi'an High-tech Industries Development Zone (XHTZ), and so, we offered our services to the zone."

Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, and Rome, capital of Italy, share a lot in common. Each of these storied cities boast an imperial past and both metropolises are home to a myriad of historical and cultural sites that are revered by academics and tourists around the world.

The residents that call each city home also share a love of cuisine that cannot be understated. With so much in common, it makes great sense for the nations of Italy and China, and specifically the cities of Rome and Xi'an, to continue cooperating economically.


Participants communicate with each other at the conference. [Photo provided to]

During the conference's dinner, Chic Group's president, Charles Fischer, praised local government officials in Xi'an and announced development plans that would be undertaken with major Italian IPs, including Ferrari World and the Umbrian Jazz Music and Milan Fashion Week.

According to Petrone, a number of specific projects have been planned to help advance the Italy China Foundation's specific goals, including seminars, forums, and promotional events.

"One of the specific projects is the promotion of the XHTZ in Italy. One of the ways of doing this will be a very large seminar for industrialists. So, together with Chic Group, we organized a seminar in Milan and we expect many industrial companies to be a part of it," said Petrone.

"The second event we are planning is a large fashion forum. And, thirdly, we are planning to launch a promotional event where we identify Chinese companies that are particularly active in Italy, and Italian companies that are active in Shaanxi, and host an awards ceremony."


Vincenzo Petrone gives a speech at the conference. [Photo provided to]

The Italy China Foundation was founded in Milan in November 2003 by Italian businessman and economist Cesare Romiti, with the aim of improving the image and manner of Italy's presence in China, as well as to achieve a different strategic and commercial positioning. Since its inception, the foundation has grown to not only serve Italian companies working in China, but also Chinese enterprises that have shown an interest in Italy.

The organization has found particular success in its nuanced approach to the massive country that is China, according to participants at the China-Italy Economic Cooperation and Exchange Conference.

"For a long time, we have advocated for the Italian industrial world in China, and this has been done under the assumption that China is not a single cultural entity. China is among the most multicultural countries in the world," said Petrone. "We are making programs that are tailormade for that specific entity."


Participants communicate with each other at the conference. [Photo provided to]

In addition to Petrone and Fischer, the event was attended by president of Campania New Steel Vincenzo Lipardi, president of the International Association of Art (AIAP) Marco Tortoioli Ricci, director of the Hi-tech management committee Gu Haiwen, and executive director of Chic Group Helen Tu, along with government officials of Xi'an, as well as representatives from other domestic and international enterprises in the areas of science, tech, and arts.