Despite the warnings and pressure from the US and the European Union, Italy has joined the china’s mega connectivity scheme and has become the first G7 country to do so. Italy is the thirteenth European Union country and also the first from Western Europe to join China’s Belt Road Initiative.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a (MoU) with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Rome, endorsing the global infrastructure-building scheme of China.
Why did Italy join the initiative?
There are a lot of ‘Made in China’ coming into Italy and too little ‘Made in Italy’ that goes into China. Italy hopes for a substantial and gradual increase in exports to balance out the trade imbalances. Aimed to “rebalance an imbalance” in Sino-Italian trade
The decision of Italy is seen as an attempt to address its financial woes which has onerous public debt. Italy fell into recession at the end of last year. The agreement is seen as a trade off wherein Italy needs investment and China has those to provide. The agreement will aid Italy to underpin and strengthen its business ties with China.
“Italy needs investment and resources and China has those to provide,” said Erik Jones, professor of European studies and international political economy at Johns Hopkins University’s Bologna-based School of Advanced International Studies.